Brexit plan means long-term economic uncertainty – Nicola Sturgeon

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Brexit in any form is likely to reduce economic growth, Scotland’s First Minister is to tell a forum in Dundee.

Nicola Sturgeon will use her address at the National Economic Forum on Monday to reiterate her call for the UK to remain part of the single market and customs union.

She is expected to tell delegates that leaving the single market will do “immense damage” to jobs and living standards in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon will say: “The UK Government’s refusal to even consider the Scottish Government’s detailed plan to keep Scotland in the single market, while accepting a differentiated solution for Northern Ireland, which we support, potentially puts Scotland at a competitive disadvantage.

“But, perhaps worst of all, it leaves everybody completely uncertain about the shape of our long-term relationship with the EU.

“The seven-page political declaration on the future contains little more than vague aspirations and platitudes.

“But while we can expect more pages forthcoming on some aspects of the future relationship, there will be no concrete reassurances.”

The government’s National Economic Forum is a regular event attended by ministers and senior figures from business, the public sector and trade unions to discuss how best to grow Scotland’s economy.

Ms Sturgeon will address delegates at the Apex City Quay Hotel on the theme of innovation and inclusion.

She will say: “Put bluntly, long-term economic uncertainty is hard-wired into the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal.

“If the UK Government insists on leaving the EU, then it should remain in the single market and customs union. That is the solution which respects the outcome of the referendum, mitigates the worst economic consequences of Brexit and largely resolves the Irish border issue.

“If Brexit goes ahead – in any form – it is likely to reduce economic growth.

“But that doesn’t devalue our wider efforts to support business – in fact it makes those efforts all the more important.”

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