In a strongly worded letter last month, Michael Andrew Gove made allegations that the ministers in the UK Government have not been part of the operational readiness plan that the Scottish government had envisioned for the well-being of its businesses and economic activities. Further, Gove asserted that they had no data about the total number of health officers working in Scotland, which is crucial for their overall planning and implementation purposes. In response to the allegations, Michael Russell has now hit back and alleged that it is the team of Gove that adopted a partisan approach and kept the Government of Scotland away from the negotiations related to the Brexit process.
With this response, the Scottish government’s official position is also out, and it is important in the context of the fact that the actual Brexit date is approaching, and still, people are yet to reach the final contour of the trade deal. Russell contended that Gove’s team explicitly refused to tell the details of the position that the UK has taken in negotiating the terms and conditions with the European Union on the Brexit. Building on the Scottish government’s official position that they require more time for the Brexit transition, Russell contended that their concerns were thoroughly neglected even as it is an interest of both the UK and Scotland to extend this transition.
Terming this decision as a total disregard for the people of Scotland, Russell alleged that the UK’s wish to get the Brexit done at any cost without paying heed to the people’s aspirations is going to damage the economic prosperity of the country severely. Emphasizing that the government should take some more time for Brexit, Russell warned that the prospects of no deal would inflict considerable damage to the economy at a time when it requires even more support from the authorities.
This duel between Russell and Gove is looked at with great interest in both Scotland and the UK, and people familiar with inside details are anticipating this to intensify further in the future. It will be interesting to witness how the UK government will respond to these allegations and what course correction it will do in the coming time.