From SNP Media
The SNP has said that only with the full powers of an independent country will Scotland be able to secure a fair, strong and equal recovery, after new statistics revealed a plunge in trade between the UK and the EU due to the impact of Brexit and the pandemic.
The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that between Oct-Dec 2020 and the first quarter of this year, trade between the UK and EU, excluding precious metals, fell by 20.3%. Meanwhile, imports of goods from EU countries, excluding precious metals, fell by a staggering £14 billion – while exports plunged by more than £7 billion over the same period.
It also found that total trade in goods with EU countries decreased by 23.1% in the first quarter of 2021, compared with the same quarter in 2018.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade Secretary Drew Hendry MP said:
“The Covid pandemic coupled with the damaging impact of an extreme Tory Brexit has delivered a real blow to the economy, businesses and jobs.
“The latest ONS figures revealing a plunge in trade between the UK and the EU must serve as an urgent wake-up call for the Tory government which is pursuing all the wrong priorities with its plans to inflict another round of damaging austerity.
“The Tories’ plans make clear that Westminster cannot be trusted with Scotland’s recovery, and that the only way to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery is for Scotland to become an independent country, with the full powers to invest in our economy and build the fairer society we all want to see.
“This pandemic has exposed the deep inequalities that exist under the broken Westminster system. Once this crisis is over people in Scotland must have the choice of a fairer future with independence.”