Today, our CEO Polly Purvis and I gave evidence to MPs in the Scottish Affairs Committee. The committee visited Edinburgh to hear from different sectors of the Scottish economy about their trade priorities post-Brexit and what they see as the opportunities and challenges, as part of their inquiry into Scotland: Trade and Foreign Investment.
What did we say?
We answered questions about the export performance of our industry, the impact of leaving the EU Single Market, how our members are preparing for the different Brexit scenarios, potential opportunities arising from Brexit and how the UK Government can further support exports for our industry. Our responses were informed by continued engagement with our members since the EU referendum through surveys, conversations and a specific member consultation to prepare for this inquiry. Many thanks to all members who provided us with input.
We highlighted industry concerns about freedom of movement, the need for a continued supply of skilled talent, market access (in particular for services) and the transfer of data to/from EU.
Asked what Governments might do to help the industry our suggestions included :
- More help to understand and comply with the new trading arrangements particularly for SME’s
- Negotiating an EU adequacy agreement re data before the end of the transition period
- A focus on services, ecommerce and non tariff barriers in negotiating new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as national monopolies, regulatory requirements, use of in-country nationals
- Pushing for a stronger more inclusive rules based trading system that minimises tariffs on technology products and non-tariff trade barriers
You can watch a recording of the evidence session here (ScotlandIS session starting at 3h 50 mins): goo.gl/URuzRE
The Scottish Affairs Committee will publish a report on their findings, informed by our evidence and that of other sectors. The UK Government then has to respond to this report and set out potential actions on the back of it. At ScotlandIS, we will continue to monitor the situation around Brexit, keep our members up to date and continue to inform policy makers about the needs and priorities of our industry.
If you have any questions or comments about our evidence or other aspects of our Brexit related work, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.