Michael Russell has launched a new online tool to help Scottish businesses identify how they could be affected by Brexit. The website, www.PrepareforBrexit.scot, is intended to be a “one-stop shop” with a self-assessment tool, advice, events, workshops and financial support. Speaking on a visit to Complete Storage Interiors, the Cabinet Secretary stated that support provided by the Government’s enterprise agencies “will help businesses safeguard” their growth potential during the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Banging on About Europe
The SNP at Westminster has been ignoring 2006-era David Cameron’s advice to stop “banging on about Europe”. The party has been calling on Labour and the Conservatives to abandon their plans for a hard Brexit, claiming this would “prolong” austerity. At PMQs Ian Blackford accused the Government of providing “no answer” on the future supply of medicine and suggested it was in a “blind panic, trying to cover up for a blind Brexit”. Other SNP MPs spoke with one voice on the issue at PMQs. Martyn Day raised the cost of settled status applications, Alan Brown the case of an Italian-born long-term resident of Scotland denied the right to remain and Stewart Hosie a constituent who had been trying to renew his passport for a decade.
The agency charged with developing a new post-Brexit customs system, HMRC, faces “significant” challenges, according to a Westminster committee. The Public Accounts Committee, which examines value-for-money in public spending, said the taxman faced a “daunting” workload as it attempts to balance major Brexit-related projects alongside its usual activities. MPs concluded it was “very unlikely” the new customs system would be ready in time and that a new VAT system for exporters in a no deal scenario required “further development”. The Committee has written separately to HMRC detailing these concerns.