Scotland politics

Brexit 'to have negative impact' on most vulnerable in Scotland

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Brexit is highly likely to negatively impact the most vulnerable people in Scotland, a new report has found.

The independent report, commissioned by the Scottish government, identified 137 potential impacts on those already facing inequality, discrimination, or social exclusion.

It highlighted consequences including the loss of legal rights, employment protections and healthcare rights.

It also said Brexit could affect supply and access to food, fuel and medicines.

The UK government said it was "in the interests of both the UK and the EU to agree a future partnership that keeps goods flowing, services being provided and business being done".

The study, reviewing the social and equality impacts of leaving the EU on people in Scotland and across the UK, was carried out by independent expert Dr Eve Hepburn.

Scottish Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: "The Scottish government has repeatedly warned that any kind of Brexit will be disastrous for our most vulnerable citizens.

"The UK government failed to carry out any meaningful assessment on the impact of Brexit, including an equality impact assessment."

'Most vulnerable'

She added: "The Scottish Parliament, like the other devolved nations, has explicitly - and comprehensively - refused to give its consent to the UK government's Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

"Although Scotland is being pulled out of the EU against its will, the Scottish government will not ignore the negative impact Brexit will have on people, including the most vulnerable in our society.

"This report underlines, yet again, why the future of Scotland should be in its own hands."

A UK government spokeswoman said: "The UK as a whole voted for Brexit and we are delivering on that instruction. It's in the interests of both the UK and the EU to agree a future partnership that keeps goods flowing, services being provided and business being done, and that's what we're going to do.

"This year should be one of growth and opportunity as we seek to level up across all four corners of the UK, strengthen our Union and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

"We urge the Scottish government to continue to work with us to move forward together."

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