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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18257: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 17 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what preparations the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has made for the possibility of the UK exiting the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

Answered by: Ash Denham 5 September 2018

As a responsible government, we must prepare for all exit possibilities in order to mitigate where possible the negative impact of leaving the EU on the Scottish economy, businesses, public services and individuals. Preparations are well under way but we are constrained by a lack of clarity on the direction of negotiations with the EU, by uncertainty about the possible outcome of that and by the fact that many critical issues that will affect Scotland’s interests are reserved and the responsibility of the UK Government.

In the case of SFRS, the service is making preparations, with support for current non-UK EU nationals employed within SFRS and future workforce planning being key considerations. The service is also considering health and safety regulations and technical standards as much of its operational equipment is currently covered by EU-wide safety and other standards.

The Strategic Leadership Team and SFRS Board are also considering what further issues the Service might face following EU Exit and will include these in their action plan for managing such impacts should they materialise, based on a wide range of possible scenarios.