Press release

For immediate release: Wednesday 11 October 2016

SALMOND: "SCOTLAND WANTS NO PART IN THE ECONOMIC SABOTAGE HARD BREXIT ENTAILS" 

SALMOND CALLED FOR SUPPORT FROM FELLOW EUROPEANS TO MAINTAIN SCOTLAND'S EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS

Speaking today in at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council Europe, Alex Salmond MP called on fellow members to support Scotland's wish to maintain its European connections following the EU referendum in June. 

The SNP's International Affairs spokesperson also spoke of the "economic sabotage" that would result after a hard Brexit. This is following the news leaked today from the UK Treasury, that estimated the value of the process could cost the UK economy £66,000 million.  

 Speaking in the Council of Europe Chamber, Mr Salmond said:

"Since the referendum in the United Kingdom, there has been a feeling ventilated in the newspapers that perhaps the economic damage from exiting the European single market would not be too great, but, of course, the Brexit process has not actually happened yet.
"It's a bit like jumping off the Eiffel Tower and half-way down thinking things are not going to be too bad. But when the UK economy hits the ground from hard Brexit, the impact is going to be very, very sever indeed.
"This morning, there was a leak from the UK Treasury, which put an estimate of figures on that process. It suggested that over a 15 year period a 5-10% loss in Gross Domestic Product, a 20% decline in foreign and direct investment and a 20% reduction in international trade.
"In financial terms, a £66,000 million loss in annual government revenue. I don't need to convert that into euros, because at the rate the pound is sinking it is going to be parity with the euro very soon indeed.
"We want no part of the economic sabotage that the hard Brexit process entails. That is why we are here looking for support from the other members of this Assembly, from other Europeans, to maintain our European connection."

ENDS

Notes: 

Mr Salmond's full speech: 

"Yesterday, the Secretary-General reminded us of the benefits of free trade, but we are about to see in this continent the dis-benefits, the damage of not having free trade in the hard Brexit process the United Kingdom is currently engaged in.
"Since the referendum in the United Kingdom, there has been a feeling ventilated in the newspapers that perhaps the economic damage from exiting the European single market would not be too great, but, of course, the Brexit process has not actually happened yet.
"It's a bit like jumping off the Eiffel Tower and half-way down thinking things are not going to be too bad. But when the UK economy hits the ground from hard Brexit, the impact is going to be very, very sever indeed.
"This morning, there was a leak from the UK Treasury, which put an estimate of figures on that process. It suggested that over a 15 year period a 5-10% loss in Gross Domestic Product, a 20% decline in foreign and direct investment and a 20% reduction in international trade.
"In financial terms, a £66,000 million loss in annual government revenue. I don't need to convert that into euros, because at the rate the pound is sinking it is going to be parity with the euro very soon indeed.
"So why should the UK Government engage in this economic damage? The answer is that the UK Government prioritise the restriction on free movement of people over the benefits of free trade and free movement of goods and capital.
"Now what is important for this assembly to understand is that while England and Wales voted narrowly for Brexit, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the other countries in the UK, voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the European structure.
"We want no part of the economic sabotage that the hard Brexit process entails. That is why we are looking for support from the other members of this Assembly, from other Europeans, to maintain our European connection.
"The Secretary-General of this body was asked yesterday by my colleague, Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, about the position of Scotland and Northern Ireland and he said that they would find their own way, but of course they will still have the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights
"That overlooks the fact that the UK Government is also very hostile to the European Convention on Human Rights, the greatest achievement of this body and something that is embedded in the foundation statute in the Scottish Parliament.
"So we are looking for support. Support from other members of this Assembly, from other Europeans, to maintain our economic connections with Europe and Scotland and also the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights for the Scottish people."