Single Market participation key to holding UK and its economy together – Farry

Alliance Economy spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said participation in the European Single Market is key to holding the UK and its economy together.

Dr Farry was speaking in the wake of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirming a consultation would begin next week on plans for a second independence referendum. He said it was either “political posturing” or the beginning of a process that would see Scotland leave the UK.

“Alliance respects the right of the Scottish people to determine their own future, but it seems self-evident the Brexit vote, with the addition of recent comments from UK Government Ministers indicating a hard Brexit, is creating a reaction in Scotland.

“Brexit continues to destabilise our economy, politics and the wider constitutional settlement, with many informed experts suggesting the worst is still to come. The implications of the UK leaving the EU Single Market as part of a hard Brexit is causing considerable concern in the business community across the UK and in the financial markets.

“There is a glaring misinformation campaign from Leave campaigners saying there is a choice between trading with the rest of the world and trading with the EU. We can and should do both, and it is through the Single Market we can best open up new trading opportunities. By contrast, the risk of erecting barriers to what remains by far our largest external market is an act of folly.

“In recent days, we have seen the Assembly pass an Alliance amendment recognising the importance of the Single Market to local exports and a growing number of voices in the House of Commons calling for a soft Brexit based around the Single Market participation continuing.

“If it is no longer an option for the UK as a whole to remain within the EU, then continuing to participate in the Single Market is the best way forward. In doing so, the government would avoid doing irreparable harm to the UK economy and would have a better prospect of keeping the state together.”

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