The United Kingdom has left the European Union while nearly half of its people and politicians opposed the withdrawal. Ever since 2016, following the Brexit vote, the Scottish government has announced that it will hold an independence referendum to stay in the EU. On 31 December 2020, the UK finally left the bloc, after which the entire country has been facing financial, social and political issues. Because of the new challenges faced by Scottish society, its government has continued to insist on independence from the UK, more adamantly than before. In addition to political and social matters, the economy has been worst-hit by Brexit. Due to the problems which have occurred after the UK withdrawal from the EU, the Scottish government has pursued political independence from London to take control over its own political, social, and more importantly, economic life.
Scottish Government Seeks Independence to Reduce Brexit Challenges
The Scottish government has now revealed the consequences of the UK government’s damaging Brexit policy on its economy and society. A report presents the challenges that the deal has imposed on Scotland, and highlights the reasons why the Scottish government believes in independence. The analysis by the Scottish government has compared the benefits of being a full member of the EU against the consequences of being out of the bloc. This analysis has revealed that, after the end of the transition period, there has been no aspect of Scottish life and work which has not been greatly impacted. The research has mentioned that the UK did not act in accordance with the Scottish government and people’s consent during the Brexit process and, therefore, Scotland has been taken out of the single market while jobs and living standards have been hit hard. The Scottish government’s analysis presents the cons for Scotland after the UK left the EU and discusses the pros of rejoining it.
Brexit Has a Bad Impact on Every Corner of Scottish Life
In this analysis, the Scottish government refers to the impact of Brexit on the economy, society and politics of Scotland. It highlights cases like trade, services, fisheries, participation in EU programmes, internal security issues, free movement of citizens, and the environment. It goes on to detail cases in different sectors. The political choice of the UK government brought Scotland face-to-face with damaging results in political relations with the EU against its will. A Scottish government secretary argued that, as a responsible entity, the Scottish government will do its best to reduce the negative consequences of the Brexit deal. The secretary has added that businesses in Scotland have been struggling with the difficult situation of both Brexit and Covid-19, so the Scottish government will seek to be an independent country to regain the economic and political benefits of EU membership.
Scottish Government Seeks Independence to Regain EU Benefits
Another report commissioned by the Scottish government presents 137 possible impacts of Brexit on people who have been already facing inequality and discrimination in society. It highlights the consequences of Brexit which may cause the loss of healthcare rights, or the loss of employment protection, legal rights and funding opportunities. Moreover, the report discusses that Brexit could affect supply and access to food, fuel and medicines in Scotland. The study reviews the social and equality effects of Brexit on the Scottish people and adds that the UK government has not reduced the impact of Brexit on vulnerable people. These people include women, old people, children, EU nationals, refugees and asylum seekers, minority groups, low-income people, disabled people, people in remote and rural areas, religious communities, homeless people, etc.
Brexit Led to the Loss of Fundamental Services in Scotland
The report has found that Brexit has had socio-economic impacts, leading to a poor economy, cuts in public services, reduced economic resources, low income and loss of EU rights. The Bank of England has assessed that due to Brexit-related factors, the UK GDP growth has slowed, which will lead to job losses in the whole country. The Scottish government has evaluated that the UK government’s Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, will weaken earlier commitments to workers’ rights and environmental standards. According to the Scottish government’s assessment, Brexit will impact the labour market and there will be a shortage of skilled workers in the country.
Brexit has Lowered Number of Skilled Workers, Scottish Government Says
The Scottish government has implied that the UK government’s Brexit deal weakens the interests of the Scottish people and fails to include an obligatory commitment to obey the European Convention on Human Rights. Also, there will be a loss of general access to non-discrimination laws, which is in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. There will be a potential loss of secondary EU legislation for part-time workers’ rights, loss of rights for protection during pregnancy and maternity leave, and working partners’ rights. Scottish government assessments add that there will be a possibility of loss of children’s rights, which were guaranteed under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, CJEU case law and secondary legislation. Moreover, there will be loss of protection of children’s rights in international families with the withdrawal from the EU.
Scotland Lost Many Rights After Brexit
After the exit from the EU, the price of imported goods and foods has been 20% higher as compared to previous years due to Brexit-related disruptions. Furthermore, Scotland’s food and drink industry has warned of price rises and supply shortages with Brexit rules coming into force. Of course, price rises for food, vegetables and drinks have had impacts on people, especially those who wish to eat out. As an example, the cheese industry in Scotland, which was seeking to increase exports to Europe, has been facing problems after the exit from the bloc. The annual 1.2 billion pounds of Scottish food sales to the EU has faced great obstacles, with more complex paperwork slowing down the process. Salmon farmers have also experienced losses as a result of Brexit rules, such as extra red tape and bureaucracy, as well as their increased cost unrelated to products.
Scottish Exports Dropped After Brexit
Apart from the financial and social matters, the Scottish government has had concerns over diplomacy and international relations after Brexit. Some experts have argued that these issues are reserved for the UK government, but others have argued that the Scottish government can continue its relations with its European neighbours. Scotland’s First Minister has undertaken a series of visits abroad to promote bilateral relations with Scotland. Some political analysts insist on a political culture that recognises the Scottish government’s devolved authority for bilateral ties with the EU. The Scottish government and the people of Scotland have shown in the 2016 EU referendum that they prefer engagement with the EU in contrast to the policies the UK government has practised. Over the past few years, the Scottish government has formed offshore hubs worldwide to promote Scotland’s interests overseas and strengthen direct ties with other countries, seeking independence from the UK.
Exit from the EU Caused Concerns over Scotland’s International Relations
Scotland was taken out of the EU against the will of the majority of its people. Food and drink imports have faced price and supply challenges following Brexit, while the export sector has had to deal with the new obstacle of Brexit-related rules. The UK exit from the bloc caused political concerns over Scotland’s foreign relations too. Scotland has lost many rights, including pregnant women and children’s rights under EU laws. The Scottish government has been seeking independence from the UK to mitigate the economic, social and political challenges of Brexit and to regain EU benefits.