Ian Blackford uses Brexit to call for independence referendum
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In a letter to Boris Johnson, Labour leader Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, Mr Blackford cited evidence gathered by the ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ think tank that suggested food prices rose by 6 percent between the end of 2019 and September 2021. The study said the rising prices of food were a direct consequence of what Blackford described as “the extreme Brexit chosen, imposed and pushed through by the UK Government”. Mr Blackford also pointed to an analysis issued this week by the LSE Centre for Economic Performance.
This economic analysis found that the “total variety of goods sold by the UK to the EU has declined 30 percent since Brexit”.
He argued that this constituted “grim confirmation” of a prior forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility from October that warned about the impact of Brexit on the UK’s finances.
He stated that the warning concluded that the economic impact of Brexit could be worse with the addition of coronavirus’ impact on supply chains.
In his letter, Mr Blackford wrote: “The Tory-made cost-of-living crisis is the most immediate pressure and priority facing households across Scotland and the UK.
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“The reality so far is that the UK government has failed to properly lift a finger to protect households.
“If we are to effectively tackle every layer of this emergency, it is vital that we face all the driving factors behind these soaring costs.
“We all know that the economic consequences of emerging from the worst of the pandemic, combined with the impact of Putin’s war in Ukraine, have resulted in increasing wholesale energy costs which have translated into climbing costs across the board.
“However, they are not the only factors in play piling on the hardship for families.
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“Time and time again, analysis has shown that Brexit, imposed by the Tory government upon Scotland against our will and backed by Labour, has been an unmitigated disaster.
“Brexit leading to rising food prices and a hit to people’s pockets.
“People across Scotland and the UK are being forced to pay a heavy price for it.
“Brexit has come at the worst possible time.”
He added: “With party leaders ramping up their local election campaigning, and ahead of the Queen’s Speech, they cannot conveniently ignore the impact Brexit is having on the cost-of-living crisis.
“They cannot ignore it and they must not shamefully dodge their responsibility.
“If we are serious about tackling this cost-of-living emergency, we also need to be serious about tackling the clear costs of Brexit.”
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