Holyrood’s Culture Committee calls for 6-month Brexit grace period for businesses

13.11.2020

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee  has today written to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster calling for a 6-month grace period to support businesses after the Brexit transition period ends in January 2021.

The Committee has been taking evidence from a wide range of organisations representing sectors of the Scottish economy over the last weeks. These organisations have been unanimous in expressing alarm at the consequences of the current uncertainty that exists with regard to the UK’s trading relationship with the European Union on 1 January 2021.

In their letter to Mr Gove, the Committee also requested that he appear before the Committee to provide an update to MSPs on the current status of trade negotiations.

Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP said:

“There are now fifty days left until the end of the transition period. Preparing for such monumental change would be challenging at the best of times not to mention during a global health pandemic which has rocked the economy to its core.

Scottish businesses have been met with unprecedented pressures this year. A six-month grace period will provide businesses with time, a resource they are running out of.

By implementing a grace period heavily burdened businesses can properly prepare for the future”.

Deputy Convener Claire Baker MSP said:

“Members on the Committee recognise the importance of a future trade deal being agreed, however we have been met with concern after concern from industry representatives who are just not prepared for the prospect of a no deal being the outcome of the end of the transition period.

Even with an agreement there will still be significant challenges for businesses in Scotland and with a deadline fast approaching, businesses are running into the new year blindfolded. This is a serious moment for the Scottish economy.  The UK Government must provide certainty as soon as possible.”

Background

The letter from the Committee can be found here.

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