SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has praised new figures showing that Scotland’s economy has outperformed the rest of the UK in the second quarter of this year.
According to official figures, announced by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, the economy in Scotland grew by 0.5% in the second quarter of 2018 while growth in the UK was at 0.4%.
In the first half of this year, Scottish GDP grew by 0.8% - ahead of the UK at 0.6% over the same period, and already higher than the 0.7% growth forecast by the Scottish Fiscal Committee for 2018 as a whole.
The last year has seen the Scottish economy grow by a total of 1.7%, whilst the UK’s growth stands at 1.3%.
However, this growth in Scotland comes in tandem with a growth in disquiet over the handling of Brexit negotiations. Leaving the EU is set to cost the Scottish economy up to £12.7 billion a year - the equivalent of £2,300 for every person in the country.
Ms. McAlpine commented:
“It is extremely encouraging to see that economic growth in Scotland is exceeding expectations – and this is sure to benefit people in Dumfries and Galloway.
“These latest figures show the success of the Scottish Government’s approach: focused on building a strong economy, investing in business and enterprise and supporting the industries of the future.
“Of course, we should temper our celebrations. The growth is naturally welcome but the uncertainty surrounding Brexit persists and it continues to pose a real threat to Scottish jobs and household incomes.
“The EU single market represents a market that is eight times larger than that of the UK. Cutting ties with this bloc can only be damaging to the Scottish economy and the Dumfries and Galloway area by extension.
“The Tories must abandon their petty internal disputes and do what is right for Scotland by committing to stay in the single market. After all, in the political crossfire, those at Westminster seem to find it easy to forget that that is what Scotland voted for.”