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Brexit threatens to 'put brake on Scots economic recovery'

Scottish university's Fraser of Allander Institute calls for more clarity from UK Government.

Brexit: Risk to 'fragile' recovery (file pic).
Brexit: Risk to 'fragile' recovery (file pic). PA

Brexit represents a major threat to Scotland's finances, leading economists have said.

The University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute said uncertainty over the negotiations on leaving the EU could act as a "long-term brake" on economic recovery.

Analysts said growth "remains fragile and well below trend" and while employment is at a record high, household budgets are being squeezed by rising inflation eroding take-home pay.

The institute's latest commentary said that while Scotland's economy returned to growth in the first quarter of 2017, the improvement was on the back of "an exceptionally weak" last two years.

Director Graeme Roy said: "The latest leading indicators suggest the economy continues to recover, albeit at a relatively fragile pace.

"We believe Brexit has the potential to act as a long-term brake on Scotland's growth potential and, to date, very little progress seems to have been made by the UK Government in its negotiations with the EU.

"One area the UK government could provide greater clarity on is over the specific powers they envisage being transferred to the Scottish Parliament post-Brexit. This would help enable preparatory discussions between business and the devolved administration.

"On balance our forecasts are based upon the assumption that a constructive deal between the UK and the EU is reached. Should this not occur, outcomes towards the lower-end of our forecast ranges are more likely."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1398080-scottish-government-propose-38-amendments-to-brexit-bill/ | default

The report follows the Scottish and Welsh governments publishing amendments to the EU withdrawal bill aimed at preventing the UK government from taking control of devolved policy areas when powers are returned from the EU.

The administrations have branded the legislation a "power grab" and have said they cannot recommend giving the Bill consent unless it is substantially changed.

Ministers have also published a list of 111 powers returning from the EU which the UK Government has identified as "intersecting" with the devolution settlements.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "This report underlines the huge threat the UK Government's extreme Brexit plans pose to jobs, investment and living standards in Scotland.

"Scotland's economy is fundamentally strong, but is being put at serious risk by the proposals to leave the world's biggest single market."

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