No-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for our daily lives – here’s how

Following a Brexit mess of their own making, the UK government was forced by the SNP and other opposition parties to accept an extension of Article 50, postponing the Brexit date to October 31.

As Westminster descends further into chaos and the clock is ticking, the Tories are ripping themselves apart in a leadership contest and attempting to outdo each other over their fantasy plans for a no-deal Brexit.

It’s clear from the UK government’s own evidence that no-deal would be the worst possible option. Fresh economic forecasts from OBR show a no-deal would leave a £30bn black hole in the public finances – a stark reminder of the sheer recklessness and irresponsibility of extreme Brexiteers.

While the Tories are happy to deliberately plunge the economy into recession, we cannot – and will not – allow it.

1) No-deal would have a severe impact on the Scottish economy

A no-deal Brexit would see Scotland’s GDP shrink by up to 7% and reduce real disposable income by almost 10%.

Economic slowdown caused by a no-deal would be expected to increase the unemployment rate to up to 8%, potentially slashing 100,000 Scottish jobs and costing every person £2,300 a year.

The Tories’ reckless rush towards recession due to their Brexit obsession is a price that Scotland must not pay.

2) Holidays will become even more expensive and complicated

The fall in the value of the pound has made the cost of European holidays more expensive and, outside of the EU, we may need to pay additional charges for going on holiday too. The UK government has also confirmed that booking accommodation and flights could become more expensive, due to the return of the ‘rip-off’ booking fees.

What’s more, UK passport holders with less than six months validity on their documents will be barred from entering Schengen area countries, such as Spain, Portugal or Greece. 26 Schengen countries require at least six months validity on passports.

3) Medicines are being stockpiled

Any disruption to medical supply exports, cause by the chaos of tariffs, border checks and regulatory issues, could delay NHS patients from accessing treatments and pose serious risks.

Health Secretary and now a Tory leadership candidate, Matt Hancock, confirmed that the UK Government told drug companies and the NHS to stockpile six weeks’ worth of medical supplies, out of fear of shortages of essential drugs.

What’s more, he admitted the cost of securing storage for stockpiling medicines would amount to tens of millions of pounds – passing the burden to the taxpayer for the Tories’ ideological obsession.

4) People living in the EU could lose access to UK bank accounts

Alongside more expensive credit card payments when buying EU products, UK citizens living abroad could also lose access to their bank accounts and face slower processing times.

5) UK citizens living in the EU could lose access to pensions income

The UK government confirmed that leaving the Single Market without a deal would see the UK labelled a “third country”. That could see people who have lived and work in the EU lose access to their pensions, if they had paid into European pensions schemes.

6) More red tape and bureaucracy for businesses

With a no-deal outcome, the UK government is encouraging businesses to employ experts to help them navigate the EU’s customs rules for “third countries”.
This will put an extra burden on businesses and increase costs for importing and exporting.

What’s more, businesses would have to register for a number of schemes and classifications, to enable them to register as importers and to be able to declare customs.

7) Thousands of Scottish students could be denied opportunity to study abroad

One of the great benefits of our EU membership is the freedom of movement, giving us the right to freely work, live and study across all member states of the European Union.

Scottish universities benefit from participating in the Erasmus study exchange programme, but in the event of a no-deal, the UK government refused to commit to providing funding for students planning to study in Europe.

This means thousands of Scottish students could miss out on life-changing opportunities that previous generations have taken for granted, paying the price for the damaging and hardline Tory agenda. In particular, this decision will affect disabled students and those from poorer backgrounds, many of whom rely on the Erasmus grants to meet the costs of studying abroad.