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Scotland 'not consulted' on no-deal Brexit contingencies

A leaked 'Doomsday' scenario drawn up in Whitehall pointed to possible supply shortages.

'Doomsday': Scenario would 'not come to pass', insist UK ministers.
'Doomsday': Scenario would 'not come to pass', insist UK ministers.

The Scottish Government said it has not been consulted on contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit, leaked details of which suggested Scotland's supermarkets could run out of food "within two days".

The Whitehall document pointed to the potential for supply shortages and the collapse of the port of Dover "on day one" if Britain leaves the EU without a free trade deal.

Scotland's Brexit minister Michael Russell told STV News the Scottish Government had only learned of the plans "through newspaper reports" and urged the UK Government to consult with the devolved administrations.

Officials from three UK Government departments reportedly drew up the confidential assessment last month, outlining three scenarios in the event of a no-deal Brexit: one "mild", one "severe" and one described as "Armageddon".

A source told the Sunday Times newspaper: "In the second scenario, not even the worst, the port of Dover will collapse on day one.

"The supermarkets in Cornwall and Scotland will run out of food within a couple of days, and hospitals will run out of medicines within two weeks."

Russell said it was "imperative that the UK Government cooperates with the devolved administrations on its contingency planning as a matter of urgency".

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1417567-snp-presses-may-on-leaked-doomsday-brexit-scenario/ | default

The minister wrote to his UK counterpart David Davis on the issue earlier in the week urging the UK Government to be " open about its assessments of the impact in all scenarios".

Theresa May's government has branded the Times story "completely false", saying: "We know that none of this would come to pass."

A spokesman added that "as a responsible government" it had been planning for all eventualities.

He said the government was engaging with the devolved administrations on "issues where we believe they will need to take action".

But while there have been official conversations between the Scottish and UK governments on operational readiness, Russell said the leaked scenario drawn up by civil servants in London had allegedly "been locked away".

'Nothing about this is acceptable.'
Scottish Brexit minister Michael Russell

He said: "We have sought to engage for nearly two years now with the UK Government to ensure that Scotland's interests are protected and promoted during discussions and negotiations

"Now, less than a year to go until the UK proposes to leave the EU, we find out through newspaper reports that the sort of modelling we have been asking for appears to have been done and is so potentially challenging that it is alleged to have been locked away.

"Nothing about this is acceptable and I wrote to the Brexit secretary earlier this week to make that clear.

"If a hard Brexit might lead to food and fuel shortages in Scotland then the people of Scotland have a right to know.

"It is also imperative that the UK Government cooperates with the devolved administrations on its contingency planning as a matter of urgency."

In his letter to Davis on Monday, Russell wrote: "It cannot be right to expect the public to support Brexit as a matter of blind faith in a climate where talk of risks or adverse consequences is suppressed."

He added: "Food security and the operation of the health service and the Scottish transport system are central to the responsibilities of the Scottish Government.

"It is essential to the interests of all those we serve that we are meaningfully engaged in your planning on these and a wide range of other matters."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1413800-scottish-and-uk-governments-work-badly-together-say-99/ | default

A spokesman for the UK's department for exiting the EU said: "The UK Government is committed to ensuring a smooth and orderly exit from the EU and we are working with the devolved administrations to ensure that the whole of the UK is ready for exit.

"We want and expect the outcome of negotiations to be a good deal that works for citizens and businesses in the UK and EU, and we are confident that we will achieve this.

"However, as a responsible government, we have been developing plans for all outcomes.

"Departments are engaging with the devolved administrations on all issues where we believe they will need to take action.

"This engagement is a core element of the UK Government's exit planning."

In response to the Sunday Times article, he added: "These newspaper reports are completely false.

"A significant amount of work and decision making has gone into our no-deal plans, especially where it relates to ports, and we know that none of this would come to pass."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1403326-scottish-government-given-redacted-brexit-impact-papers/ | default

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