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MSPs given more time to view Brexit impact papers

The UK government has now committed to further opportunities to view and scrutinise the papers between February 19 and 23 at Holyrood.

MSPs are to have more time to view Brexit impact papers after pressure from the SNP.

On Thursday, Scottish Parliament politicians were given four hours to see the analysis at a building 35 minutes’ walk from Holyrood, while a second session was arranged for Friday when most had already returned to their constituencies.

After complaints from the SNP, the UK government has now committed to further opportunities to view and scrutinise the papers between February 19 and 23 at the Scottish Parliament.

A last-minute invite to view the analysis that they denied existed, at the other side of town, while parliament was sitting, was simply not good enough Bruce Crawford MSP

Bruce Crawford MSP, who had written to David Davis expressing his concerns, said: “It is welcome news that MSPs will have a further opportunity to scrutinise this vital Brexit impact paper after sustained pressure from the SNP.

“This report details the severe damage that Brexit risks causing the Scottish economy – with a potential 9% hit to our GDP – and it is only right that those elected to Scotland’s parliament have a proper opportunity to view the report.

“A last-minute invite to view the analysis that they denied existed, at the other side of town, while parliament was sitting, was simply not good enough.”

The study, which had been available for MPs to view after being leaked, show leaving the EU could hit Scotland’s economic prospects by 9%.

A UK Government spokeswoman said: “We wanted to give MSPs the opportunity to view the document before recess. That’s why, in the letters to the Presiding Officers, we made clear that the reading rooms would be open from Thursday, February 8.

“If MSPs would like to return to review the document at any point (including after recess) they would be very welcome to do so.”

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