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Summary

  1. Derek Mackay confirms the economy is predicted to grow 0.8% in 2019, down from 1.3% in 2018
  2. Nicola Sturgeon was quizzed during FMQs
  3. Ruth Davidson asked about NHS waits, Richard Leonard raised problems at a rail works and Willie Rennie went on Brexit
  4. The disenfranchisement of EU nationals, access to care and poverty were also raised

Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Bryn Palmer

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 30 May 2019.

    The Scottish economy is expected to grow by 0.8% in 2019, a fall from the 1.3% it experienced in 2018.

    Delivering his medium-term financial strategy, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the downgrade was due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

    The Scottish Fiscal Commission also released forecasts in income tax, estimating there would be less money for future Scottish budgets.

    Mr Mackay said the Scottish government may have to look at borrowing and expenditure in light of this but added it will be the next outturn figures which set the next budget.

  2. Government motion on trade and exports backed by MSPs

    The Tory amendment to the government's motion on trade is not agreed with 51 MSPs backing it compared to 65 against.

    The Labour amendment is also not agreed. 51 MSPs backed it, 59 voted against 6 abstained.

    The Green amendment is not agreed (10 votes for and 87 against, with 18 abstentions).

    The government motion is agreed by 110 votes to 6.

    Scottish government amendment
  3. Government 'very engaged in wellbeing economy' says minister

    Ivan McKee

    Trade Minister Ivan McKee wraps up the debate by praising the constructive input from Tom Mason and says there was much to agree with in the Green amendment, but the problem is it "deletes everything".

    On Patrick Harvie's point about GDP, Mr McKee says the Scottish government is very much engaged in the wellbeing economy.

    In reference to the Labour amendment, he says there is a piece of work coming soon on foreign direct investment.

    He acknowledges Willie Rennie's point about anchoring businesses.

  4. Tory MSP calls for improved infrastructure

    Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnstone

    Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnstone highlights issues relating to infrastructure, noting that A86 dualling is still being planned and airlinks are expensive.

    The Scottish government's 2011 economic strategy missed its export target "by a wide margin" the Tory MSP adds.

    He calls for ministers to focus resources on areas that will support businesses in exporting.

    Mr Halcro Johnston goes on to highlight that Scotland's biggest trading partner is other parts on the UK, adding this supports hundreds of thousands of jobs.

  5. Labour MSP highlights skills gaps

    Labour MSP James Kelly

    Labour MSP James Kelly calls for the export strategy to take more account of low wages and other issues affecting workers.

    He goes on to say there is a real problem with skills gaps, noting for example there has been a drop in the number of computer science students in schools.

    Brexit and leaving the customs union is a threat to export growth, the Labour MSP states.

    He accuses the Scottish government of embarking on a "vanity project" in the Referendums Bill, suggesting it wastes money at a time when more measures are needed to support the economy.

  6. 'There will be no jobs on a dead planet'

    Patrick Harvie

    Concluding for the Scottish Greens, co-convenor Patrick Harvie says Scotland's export plan can only be achieved through international co-operation such as EU membership.

    He says the Tory party are "economic nationalists" and argues they should abandon their Brexit obsession and engage positively with ideas about how to modernise and change the UK.

    Whatever people see as the benefits of trade, "there will be no jobs on a dead planet", Mr Harvie says.

    The Green approach is not anti-trade, he argues, but the focus needs to move towards renewables and digital technology industries.

  7. Brexit: What is the 'no deal' WTO option?

    Container ship

    One of the terms that keeps cropping up in the Brexit debate is "the WTO option".

    If the UK left the European Union without a deal, it would automatically fall back on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

    So what would that mean?

    Find out here.

  8. Background: Exports of Scottish goods climb in value

    Containers

    The value of goods exported by firms in Scotland rose by 5.6% last year to £30.3bn, according to new HMRC figures.

    The percentage increase was higher than any other part of the UK.

    Exports from England rose by 2.1%, while Wales and Northern Ireland saw rises of 4.2% and 1.9% respectively.

    The top five Scottish exports were mineral fuels (£10.2bn), machinery and transport (£7.2bn), beverages and tobacco (£4.3bn), chemicals (£2.5bn) and manufactured goods (£2bn).

    Read more here.

  9. Background: Scotland's exports

    Exports
  10. Background: Scottish economy 'moving closer to EU'

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    Food and drink exports to the EU have been growing
    Image caption: Food and drink exports to the EU have been growing

    Scotland's economy has been growing more interlinked with that of the European Union as a whole since the Brexit referendum.

    That's according to a report by the Fraser of Allander Institute, which updates an analysis carried out for the GMB union and published in November 2017.

    That previous report showed 135,000 jobs were linked to demand from the European Union for Scottish exports.

    That relates to £14.9bn-worth of goods and services sold to the other 27 member states.

    The update, published by GMB on Monday, shows a further 9,000 jobs are tied to that trade, taking it to 144,000.

    Read more here.

  11. Rennie: Brexit and indyref2 are shadows over export efforts

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie welcomes the export plan published by the government, particularly its focus on different sectors.

    However, there are two big shadows over efforts to increase exports he warns: Brexit and indyref2.

    We must ensure we meet our export targets and also anchor businesses in this country, he argues.

    The best anchor is the quality of the Scottish workforce, Mr Rennie adds.

    Willie Rennie
  12. Here is the Green amendment

    Green amendment
  13. Ever-lasting growth unsustainable, says Harvie

    Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie bemoans how long-term economic strategy gives "undue primacy" to "narrow metrics" like GDP.

    De-growth is an urgent debate the world needs to be having, he says, when "we are killing the living world around us".

    Ever-lasting growth in our economy is not only causing these problems, it is unsustainable, Mr Harvie maintains.

    I regret the government's target is framed purely in terms of percentage growth in GDP, he adds.

  14. This is Labour's amendment

    Labour's amendment
  15. Previous export targets missed, highlights Labour

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says the Scottish government missed its previous target in export growth.

    The largest number of businesses in Scotland are small businesses which are less likely to export than larger ones, she says.

    The export report does not highlight that the majority of firms which do export are not Scottish-owned, adds the Labour MSP.

    Ms Grant insists the Scottish government must "end all talk" of indyref2 because it would do more damage than Brexit.

  16. Here is the Tory amendment

    Tory amendment
  17. Scotland 'not achieved potential to become first tier trading nation' says Tory MSP

    Dean Lockhart

    Tory MSP Dean Lockhart says export performance in the past decade has failed to meet targets by £22bn.

    Figures show that after 12 years of SNP government Scotland has not achieved its potential to become a first tier trading nation, he argues.

    He believes the fundamental flaw to the SNP's approach is its plan to introduce a new currency.

    How does this help business plan for the future, he asks.

  18. Background: Scottish exports increased by 5% in 2017

    Container

    In January we reported the value of exports from Scotland had grown by £4bn in 2017, up 5% on the previous year, according to new estimates.

    Total exports from Scotland, excluding oil and gas, rose to £81.4bn - including £48.9bn to the rest of the UK, and £32.4bn of international sales.

    Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the figures were "great news" and highlighted the growth in international exports.

    Scottish Secretary David Mundell said trade within the UK was "essential".

    Both politicians used the figures to make arguments about constitutional politics, with Mr Mackay warning of the "risk" of a no-deal Brexit and Mr Mundell arguing against Scottish independence.

    Read more here.

  19. Minister highlights 100+ recommendations in trading plan

    Trade Minister Ivan McKee

    Trade Minister Ivan McKee says the purpose of the recent publication, A Trading Nation, is to support businesses.

    He encourages members to engage with businesses in their constituencies to ensure they are aware of the trade plan.

    More than 100 actions have been identified in the plan which we will work to deliver upon in the coming months, he says.

    These include encouraging peer-to-peer relationships, the international trade partnership and expanding the GlobalScot network, Mr McKee explains.

    The minister says increasing exports will increase the tax revenue, thus generating more to spend on public services.

    We want to increase our internationalisation despite Brexit and support businesses on that journey, he concludes.

    Scottish government's motion
    Image caption: This is the Scottish government's motion
  20. Scottish government debate: A Trading Nation

    Containers

    MSPs are now taking part in a debate titled 'A Trading Nation'/