Michael Gove says Scottish independence worse than worst-case Brexit scenarios

Michael Gove has unveiled a series of worst case Brexit scenarios – but insisted Scottish independence would be worse than them all.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 7:00 am
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, returns to Downing Street after the weekly Cabinet meeting. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, returns to Downing Street after the weekly Cabinet meeting. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Speaking to MPs yesterday he warned businesses to “prepare for the consequences” and revealed just 24 per cent are ready for the end of the Brexit transition period.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responsible for no-deal planning and was updating the house ahead of the transition period ending on 31 December.

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Despite his stark warnings, the senior UK government minister accused the SNP of throwing away jobs and income, insisting an independent Scotland would see greater hardships than the scenarios laid out.

He said: “Our survey evidence indicates while 78 per cent of businesses have taken steps, just 24 per cent believe they are fully ready.

“Indeed 43 per cent of businesses actually believe the transition period will be extended even though the deadline for any extension has now long passed and the date we leave the single market and customs union is fixed in law and supported across this House.” His address came as the UK government published details of the “reasonable worst-case scenarios” post-Brexit.

These included 7,000 lorries getting stuck in Kent and two-day delays for goods travelling to France.

Mr Gove then insisted Scottish independence would be worse after a war of words with SNP MP Pete Wishart.

Mr Wishart had claimed the scenarios showed the “Brexit chickens had come home to roost”. He said: “I remember the days of the easiest deal in history, having our cake and eating it while observing the sunny uplands. But even the minister himself told us that we hold all the cards.

“Well it seems the only card we’re holding is the Joker with his spitting image all over the front of it. We are planning our best-case scenario, when we get out of rogue state UK before the worst of this Brexit madness consumes our beautiful nation.”

Mr Gove accused the SNP of “selling coastal communities short” by trying to rejoin the EU. He said: “There are many questions about an independent Scotland that have not been answered.

“What will be the currency that an independent Scotland would use, how would UK pensions be guaranteed in an independent Scotland? An independent Scotland would have to pay a premium on ­borrowing on international markets.”

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