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Rennie: Major economic report warns of Brexit threat

February 13, 2019 5:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today condemned "Conservative neglect and Labour compliance" as a new report from Scotland's Chief Economist warned that Brexit uncertainty is impacting on key economic indicators and a no-deal scenario would lead to a 'major dislocation' to the Scottish economy.

The State of the Economy report, published by Scotland's Chief Economist Gary Gillespie, highlights:

  • Business and consumer sentiment surveys have reported notable falls in confidence. The Scottish Consumer Sentiment Indicator has fallen to its lowest reading since the series began in 2013 while investment decisions by business have been skewed towards supply issues or put on hold;
  • A no-deal Brexit would disrupt logistics, supply, trade, investment, migration and market confidence. Any shock would likely have disproportionate sectoral and regional impacts and if prolonged, would lead to significant structural change in the economy;
  • Current independent forecasts for the Scottish economy are positive for 2019, with growth between 1 and 1.5 per cent, but these remain highly uncertain until Brexit is finalised.

Mr Rennie said:

"The Scottish economy is fragile, with low growth and businesses and consumers worried about the future.

"Conservative neglect and Labour compliance has taken us to the brink of a no deal Brexit which would devastate the Scottish economy.

"It's clearer than ever that we need a People's Vote and an exit from Brexit."