Scottish Councils urge time be taken to do a better deal with EU
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Scottish Councils urge time be taken to do a better deal with EU

COSLA Leaders call for an extension on UK-EU negotiations

Scotland’s Council Leaders today (Friday) called for an extension to the UK – EU negotiations beyond 31 December 2020.

Commenting on the decision of Council Leaders taken at a virtual meeting today, COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison said:

“COSLA’s position has been about securing a good deal with our closest neighbours and partners over any timescale.  This is a principled position that has the interest of our local communities in mind.

“The negotiations have undoubtedly been severely affected by the present Covid pandemic.    Looking forward, the possible economic and social implications of not achieving a good deal, on top of those we are facing due to Covid, are well documented.

“Indeed, if the UK and the EU stop negotiations in June, or are unable to conclude a deal by October, we would be back to a “no deal” scenario.  Local Government preparations would have to resume over the Summer to prepare for that, at the very time our attention should be focused on recovering from the crisis we currently face with Covid.

“Leaders were clear today that the lack of progress on these negotiations poses a significant risk to the Scottish economy and Local Government services and we must see an extension to the Transition Period.

“Following today’s decision we will press this case with UK Ministers.  Work will also continue with the Scottish Government and our European counterparts to seek to secure the best outcomes possible for our local communities.”