9 July 2019

SNP MSP finds fears over Brexit dominating

An interview by Alan Beresford of the Banffshire Advertiser

BREXIT continued to dominate constituent concerns for local MSP Stewart Stevenson as he got his mobile surgery tour under way last week.

The Advertiser caught up with the SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast when his surgery rolled into Rathven. For the third year in a row, fears over the continuing uncertainty surrounding the UK's exit from the EU were top of the list for individuals and businesses alike.

He said:

"The political system is not delivering and a period of intense uncertainty has not been resolved for sometime.

"Businesses in particular are telling me they're finding it difficult to plan for the future.

"Fish processors are experiencing difficulties filling vacancies and have concerns regarding selling their produce in the EU if there's a no-deal Brexit.

"The fish-catching sector has a different set of challenges but they, too, also have worries concerning selling their catch to Europe if a no-deal Brexit means it's sitting for days at a port waiting to clear customs.

"Brexit has definitely topped the list again as a major concern - the UK government is now three years down the line without appearing any closer to a resolution."

The future of Brexit and whatever shape it may take, plus the future relations of the four constituent parts of the UK, very much hang for the moment on the outcome of the Conservative Party leadership race between front-runner Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Stevenson warned there could be many turbulent times ahead for both Scotland and the UK as a whole.

"In a sense there will be no winner from this race, it's a poisoned chalice." he continued.

"The question is what will the winning candidate make of it.

"So far the campaign has been very unconvincing and it would seem neither candidate can deal with the diversity of opinion within the four nations of the UK regarding Brexit.

"One might have thought that there would've been an attempt to build some sort of accord."

Looking ahead into the murky waters of the next six months, not least the October 31 deadline for leaving the EU, Mr Stevenson said the main difficulties would most likely be economic ones, including the impacts on filling jobs vacancies in many sectors caused by a "hardline" attitude to immigration.

He said:

"Whether we leave with the May deal or no deal, the economic impact is going to be huge.

"Scotland is an exporting nation and many products depend on timely delivery.

"I've already written to Michael Gove [Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] and the local council regarding this issue.

"There may be as many as six different pieces of paperwork required to export fish alone depending on how we leave the EU.

"Far from abolishing paperwork Brexit could now make it far more difficult and costly for firms to export."

As for the candidates to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader and Prime Minister, Mr Stevenson was scathing in assessment of their commitment to Scotland and her interests.

Turning first to Mr Johnson - who was recently the centre of much anger north of the border when it was revealed that as editor of The Spectator in 2004 he had published a poem calling for the "extermination" of the Scots - Mr Stevenson said:

"Boris Johnson has said some deeply insulting things about the Scots and Scotland.

"His true feelings for anything north of his Uxbridge constituency are either disregard or ignorance.

"A man known for his idleness and disregard for policy detail is unlikely to do anything to help Scotland."

Mr Hunt fared little better in the MSP's analysis.

"Mr Hunt has particularly found himself changing his mind on a range of policy areas as the leadership campaign has progressed.

"He has no understanding of the needs of the whole UK, to say his leadership can benefit Scotland is a nonsense. He's too hardline."

Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

However Google who publish for us, may do.
fios ZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP