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Scotland to spend £100m on preparations for Brexit

Kezia Dugdale (Nick Ansell/PA Wire)
Kezia Dugdale (Nick Ansell/PA Wire)

ALMOST £100 million will be spent preparing for Brexit in Scotland, it has emerged.

Westminster has given the Scottish Government £37 million this year and £55m in 2019-20 to fund preparations for leaving the EU.

Officials could not provide a detailed breakdown of how much has been spent so far but a report shows £26.6m has been allocated for Brexit-related work in the Scottish Government since July 2018.

The figures include £9.4m for preparations in agriculture and the rural economy and £2.1m for the NHS.

An additional £20m is also being spent over three years to give support to businesses exporting goods.

Around 420 people in the Scottish Government were spending more than 50% of their time on Brexit-related work by late summer 2018, according to the most recent estimate.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour MSP for Edinburgh and the Lothians, who obtained the figures, said: “This is just the money that has filtered down so far. The total figure could be considerably greater. This is all money that could have been invested in our struggling NHS, schools or rail services.”

The Scottish Government said: “We continue with our preparations to protect against the threats from Brexit, but no amount of preparation or funding can completely mitigate all the impacts of leaving the European Union.

“That is why we continue to make the case for remaining in the EU. We are actively pursuing the issue of funding for the consequences of a No-deal Brexit with the UK government.”