Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Highland Council leader warns north could be hardest hit by Brexit

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson.
Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson.

The leader of Highland Council has revealed her fears that the north could be the area “hardest hit” in the UK by Brexit.

Councillor Margaret Davidson said the decision to leave the European Union could have a serious impact on the economy of the Highlands and islands and set back years of effort to reverse a population drain from the north.

She spoke out after the Highlands and Islands of Scotland European Partnership submitted evidence to a Scottish Government committee seeking evidence on the possible impact of Brexit.

The body represents councils from across the north including Highland, Moray and the island authorities, as well as public bodies such as the University of the Highlands & Islands and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

Their submission suggests that the lack of a policy framework and a possible reduction in levels of financial support could mean a return to the problems of previous decades.

Speaking yesterday Mrs Davidson said: “”My underlying fear in all of this is that we spent the last 50 years in particular growing the population of the Highlands.

“I know it’s patchy in places but overall we’ve grown the population of the Highlands and we’ve been growing economic opportunities.

“My underlying fear is we’ll do our level best to mitigate the damage and we’ll absolutely keep going on growing the economy and doing what we can and I believe there still is huge opportunities in the Highlands.

“But I don’t want to wake up in 20 years time and find our population has started to drop and we’re not keep the young graduates that we were hoping to keep and much of the good we’ve been doing begins to unwind.

“That’s my fear.”

She is due to meet with Scottish Secretary David Mundell next month and says the north needs to make its voice heard with the Scottish Government.

The north has enjoyed a short term benefit from the Brexit vote through an increase in tourism this summer.

Mrs Davidson added: “A lot of it has been extremely positive and I would re-emphasise how welcome overseas visitors are to the Highlands.

“They are part of the way our population has been growing and usually within one generation they are absolutely embedded in what we do, the youngsters are playing shinty and it is terrific.

“I really want to continue to reassure people how welcome they are.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]