Colin Smyth MSP
A new report published this week has highlighted Dumfries and Galloway’s vulnerability to Brexit showing the region will be one of those hit most by the UK Government’s plans to take the UK out of the European Union.
The Report, “Local Level Brexit Vulnerabilities in Scotland,” published by the Rural and Environmental Science and Analytical Services department at the Scottish Government considers a number of the effects that leaving the European Union will have on communities across Scotland.
The report concludes that Dumfries and Galloway would be the 4th worst hit local authority area in Scotland. The Report takes into account the shrinking working age population in the region and the level of subsidies received by the European Union through the Common Agricultural Policy and various grants. The report shows that nearly half the region population (47%) live in the 20% of areas that will be hit worst by brexit.
The report is being released with an interactive online Brexit Vulnerabilities Index Map, which can be used by local councils and other organisations as a tool to help plan for Brexit.
Colin Smyth believes the report should act as a wake-up call to Tory MPs David Mundell and Alister Jack to oppose plans to vote for Boris Johnson’s brexit deal in Parliament this week or risk
Colin Smyth said, “This Report accurately measures the benefits to our region of EU membership – from attracting workers to tackle our shrinking working age population to providing grants for projects such as Dumfries and Galloway LEADER.
We are due to leave the European Union by the end of this month and despite three years passing since the referendum both the UK and Scottish Governments have failed to put forward proposals for a future immigration system which will help our region to attract the workers required in the public sector, set out support for farmers and other businesses and established a replacement for LEADER structural funding which has funded vital projects across the region. We always knew that Brexit would be damaging to Dumfries and Galloway, but this analysis lays out in clear terms just how vulnerable our region is to the impact of Brexit.
Alister Jack and David Mundell have said that they will support Boris Johnson’s plans to leave the EU by the end of this month, but this report shows that their constituencies will be among the hardest hit by any kind of Brexit. It’s time Alister Jack and David Mundell stood up for their constituents over the consequences of leaving the EU instead of protecting their own jobs.”