Hamza Yusuf attacked for ‘playing politics’, SNP accused of huge cover-up

The Scottish National Party has been attacked for “playing politics” after failing to release data about trade with Europe and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Export data between Scotland and its main trading partners was last published in December 2021.

It showed that the rest of the United Kingdom accounted for 60 percent of Scottish trade, while only 19 percent went to the EU and 21 percent to the rest of the world.

Intra-UK trade grew by more than five per cent in 2019, which is higher than the 2.6 per cent seen with the EU and the 4.1 per cent experienced with the rest of the world.

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Tory MSP Murdo Fraser told the Scottish Express: “SNP ministers need to speak openly with the public about why these vital figures are gathering dust.”

The shadow economic development minister said: “We don’t know how Scottish exports were performing before Covid arrived.

“Nationalist ministers who try to dismiss the importance of the UK market to the Scottish economy cannot and do politics over this.

“They will need to confirm the date when the latest statistics will finally be published and guarantee that this will be done on an ongoing basis going forward.”

latest developments:

An image of goods ready for export

the Talknews

Cross-border trade could become a major problem if Scots heed the SNP’s commitment to vote for independence in a second referendum.

Independence Minister Jamie Hepburn acknowledged border checks would be part of a “new reality”.

However, Hepburn also stressed that the Union would not impose any restrictions on personal travel due to the existing common travel area between Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Border checks on goods would become even more difficult if Scotland chose to join the EU, with difficulties looming between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after Brexit.

Scottish independence supporters march in Glasgow during the All Under One banner march
Scottish independence supporters march in Glasgow during the All Under One banner marchthe Talknews
Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously expressed concerns about “challenges” on both sides of the border.

France has come under fire for allegedly hindering Brussels’ ability to amend its agreement with London, despite criticism about Britain’s ability to sign trade deals.

Responding to criticisms about the latest trade data, the Scottish Government said: “The timing and content of national statistics, such as Export Statistics Scotland (ESS), are determined independently by ministers in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics .

“The latest regional trade statistics published by HMRC show that the value of Scotland’s goods exports is growing at a faster rate than the UK as a whole.

“When oil and gas are removed, the value of Scotland’s goods exports increased by 13.2 per cent, which was more than the 12 per cent growth experienced by the UK in the year ending June 2023 compared to the previous year.”

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