The Scottish economy could be severely impacted over a period of years if the UK were to leave the EU without reaching a deal on the terms of exit.
That’s according to the director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Carolyn Fairbairn, who has said that a No Deal Brexit could cost Scotland’s economy as much as £14 billion a year.
The warning came shortly after a leaked British government dossier appeared to predict that leaving the EU without a deal would lead to food, medicine and fuel shortages across the country, as well as chaos at UK ports.
Government ministers have sought to offer some reassurance on these issues and said that the contents of the leaked documents reflect a ‘worst case scenario’ of what a No Deal Brexit might look like.
However, the CBI’s director general has made clear her concerns about what a No Deal Brexit would mean for Scotland’s economy.
“The £14bn figure still holds true,” Ms Fairbairn told BBC Radio’s ‘Good Morning Scotland’ programme.
“We still think that is the potential impact on the Scottish economy. The disruption, the long-term impact, the tariffs - these would all add up,” she said.
“We are already seeing businesses having their contracts cancelled with European customers who are saying, ‘this feels too complicated and risky dealing with you, therefore we are going to find other European suppliers’.”
As it stands, the UK is scheduled to officially leave the European Union on October 31st but it remains to be seen whether that will happen, or whether that departure will be on the basis of an agreement reached with the EU or not.
Speaking in Glasgow as part of a UK-wide tour to talk about Brexit, Ms Fairbairn from the CBI said: “We remain hugely concerned about a no-deal Brexit, hugely emphatic that the number one priority for government should be to get a deal.”
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