A TIME FOR CALM and measured reflection is the message from Moray’s MP last night as he sought to reassure people in Moray in the wake of turmoil left by the ‘leave’ vote in EU referendum last week.
Angus Robertson reflected on the result and the political chaos that has ensued since, pointing to the ruling and main opposition parties at Westminster who are facing the most serious political turmoil for generations.
The Moray MP said that the result had left a huge amount of uncertainty in the country and his constituency – which itself came closer than any other in Scotland to voting for an exit from the EU.
Calling for a period of reflection, Mr Robertson said the he will be working closely with local employers, businesses and politicians to provide as much reassurance and certainty as is possible in the coming weeks.
In his statement the MP said: “The result of the EU Referendum last Thursday has undoubtedly created a huge amount of uncertainty for many people here in Moray and right across the country.
“Most worrying for our area is the prospect of being taken out of the Single European market on which so many employers and jobs rely. Our vital food and drink sector relies on the Single European Market.
“66% of the country’s shellfish is exported to Europe and it is one of the largest markets for our whisky sector. We now face very dangerous prospects for the local economy as a result. In Scotland, where the majority of people voted to Remain in Europe, the prospect of a second Independence Referendum is now very much on the table, given that many people voted against Independence on the understanding the UK would remain part of the EU.”
Pointing to the turmoil in the UK Tory and Labour parties, where the Prime Minister has said he will leave office by October while the Shadow Cabinet has been hit by unprecedented resignations, Mr Robertson said that there was clear worries now over jobs, fuel costs and holiday costs this summer.
He said: “SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out in a calm and reasoned way the challenges that we now face. Scotland is a modern, outward-looking and inclusive country and many people have contacted me from within Moray and beyond expressing their worries about what will now happen.
“Many have also stated quite clearly that where they voted ‘No’ in the Independence Referendum of 2014, they would now, unequivocally, vote ‘Yes’ if a second Independence Referendum were to take place.
“All of this is a reflection of just how big this decision has been for the UK and for Scotland. Now is a time for calm, measured reflection. I will be working very closely with local employers and businesses, SNP Ministers, MSPs and MPs to provide as much reassurance and certainty as we can in the next few days and weeks.
“A number of constituents who voted ‘Leave’ last Thursday have since told me that they did not expect the result to have such a destabilising effect. Many people wanted to protest against issues such as Fisheries and Agriculture Policy but did not expect the ‘Leave’ victory and the danger to local jobs in the fish processing sector and in other food and drink firms in the local area.”
Tory MSP call for consultation
Last night Douglas Ross MSP warned that the way of solving the issue of the UK’s departure from the European Union was not to split up the UK’s union.
He told insideMoray:“Following on from last week’s referendum, discussions between the Scottish and UK Governments have already begun, along with talks with other EU institutions.
“Myself and my Scottish Conservative colleagues are now calling for widespread consultation within the UK so that everyone’s interests are fully represented both at local and national level.
“As Ruth Davidson has already pointed out whatever peoples’ views about last week’s decision the truth is that we do not solve our departure from the European Union by walking out of our own Union of nations as well.
“Scotland’s trade to the rest of the UK far outstrips that to the EU – Scottish jobs and indeed the jobs of many here in Moray rely on access to both markets.
“It is now essential that people right across the UK work hard to get the best deal.”