Stuart McMillan MSP has condemned the Tories for failing to prepare for Brexit, and has called on the UK Government to guarantee that Scotland is included in the decision-making process.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament during the debate on the Implications of the EU Referendum, the Greenock and Inverclyde MSP said that in order to restore confidence and stability, it must plan the way forward and “involve the Scottish government in that work at every step of the way.”
Commenting, Stuart McMillan MSP said:
“We cannot strike agreements with 50 countries currently covered by our EU arrangements until we strike a trade deal with the EU, because everyone else will want to know where we stand.
“It will take years before the UK can strike a new trade deal with the EU. How many jobs will be lost and foreign investors driven away in the process is a subject the prime minister needs to start talking about.
“I accept that the Conservatives were divided on the issue of Brexit some for Remain and Some for Leave. They now appear to be gathering around the one position of making Brexit work.
“However without a clear pathway to what Brexit actually means, what will it deliver for Scotland, what will it deliver for my constituency of Greenock and Inverclyde?”
Mr McMillan also called on the UK Government to ensure that Scotland’s voice was heard during Brexit negotiations.
“We have heard that – almost incredibly – there was no plan for Brexit. The UK government must now get a grip on this: first, to restore stability and confidence, then, to set out its plan for the way forward.
” No one knows how long the Brexit scenario will last for. We have heard 10 years being spoken of and I have also heard up to 20 years because of the level of secondary legislation that will be required to be dealt with.
“Brexit will certainly create an opportunity for those in the legal profession who work in European law. This will be a booming sector in years to come.”
Stuart McMillan MSP also expressed concern that the UK had not guaranteed the right of EU nationals to remain in the country when the UK leaves the EU; and highlighted is own experiences as a student studying in Europe:
“We must recognise the immense benefits that EU membership brings for students and young people, and our universities and colleges. Being part of the EU offers so much for our education system through funding and opportunities for students to travel and study abroad. I benefited from the Socrates Erasmus programme as a student and lived in France, Germany and Sweden and have fond memories of that experience.
“I don’t want to lift the ladder behind me to prevent others from having the same opportunity.”