Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and Brexit Minister Mike Russell have slammed the UK Government for offering Scotland just 2.5 per cent of the money it has allocated for Brexit preparations.
The Ministers criticised the decision during an Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee meeting where they made clear departments with rural responsibilities were facing a huge challenge in preparing for Brexit.
Across the Scottish environment and rural economy portfolios, there are around 600 pieces of secondary legislation which need evaluating and possibly amending in light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
They can range from one or two pages to hundreds of pages, and the EU directives and regulations they refer to can also be hundreds of pages long.
The massive exercise to identify and change this legislation is being undertaken alongside other work on administration, funding and policy to prepare Scotland for Brexit.
Ms Cunningham told MSPs on the committee: “I do not think the Scottish pie is anywhere near large enough for us to be able to have the resources we would all want.
“The UK is spending £1.3 billion [on Brexit preparations], but their intention is to give us 2.5 per cent of that, £37.3 million.
“Come on, 2.5 per cent of what the UK Government thinks is appropriate to spend on this? You can see the inequity there before we even begin.”
The decision to give Scotland such a small amount of cash was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Spring Statement last week.
Under the Barnett Formula, which the UK Government usually uses to distribute cash according to population size and which is criticised for providing too little to the devolved regions, Scotland gets between 8 and 12 per cent of the central budget.
Mr Russell said: “I am of absolutely no doubt the pie should be sliced in a way to pay for this as a United Kingdom pie, because it is the United Kingdom which is dragging Scotland out of the EU, and therefore the cost of this exercise should be paid by the UK Government.”
Wales is set to receive £24 million for its Brexit preparations.