Scotland

Brexit vote: Finance ministers meet to discuss impact

Derek Mackay
Image caption Derek Mackay met his counterparts from Wales and Northern Ireland for talks in Cardiff

Finance ministers from the UK's three devolved administrations have called for an urgent meeting with Chancellor George Osborne.

It came after Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay met with his Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts, Mark Drakeford and Mairtin O Muilleoir.

They said they wanted to meet Mr Osborne to discuss the effect of Brexit on devolved budgets.

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. Wales backed Leave.

Across the UK, 52% voted to leave the EU in last month's referendum.

The trio have written to Mr Osborne requesting an "urgent meeting" to discuss the implications of the EU referendum result.

Following the meeting in Cardiff, Mr MacKay said the Scottish government was "absolutely committed" to pursuing all avenues to maintain Scotland's place in the EU.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Scotland voted to remain in the EU - but the UK as a whole voted to leave

He added: "We remain unclear on the likely impact of Brexit on UK government finances, and we are already seeing the UK government suggest changes to future spending plans, as well as considerable concern over the economy and investment levels.

"The devolved administrations need urgent answers from the UK government on the impact that the Brexit vote could have on future budgets, and that is why it is crucial that we meet with Mr Osborne imminently.

"I have already expressed concerns about the impact this will have on this year's Scottish budget process, and given this uncertainty, there is a strong case for publishing a one year rather than a three-year budget this year."

The meeting in Cardiff came as Chancellor George Osborne is due to travel to New York, Singapore and China for talks with major investors in the coming weeks.

He has vowed to create a "more outward-looking, global-facing Britain" following the UK vote to leave the European Union.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he said even closer economic ties between the UK and US were in the "overwhelming interest of both countries".

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