IT’S been an interesting week for Brexit-related developments. It’s also interesting watching how these issues are reported in the press.

I noticed the first articles about Ryanair closing its Glasgow operations because of Brexit, but didn’t have time to read them. But having gone back to the to read more I have found the narrative has changed to being all about the SNP Government’s failure to abolish Air Passenger Duty (APD).

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Apparently 300 jobs will be lost at Glasgow but 700 created at Edinburgh as they expand there – hold on, what? If APD is the issue how come they are expanding in Edinburgh? So it turns out that since the Competition Commission ordered the break up of the monopoly ownership of Scotland’s airports to create more competition, Edinburgh has been offering better runway deals and service packages to companies such as Ryanair.

So err, it’s not about Brexit or APD but actually about Edinburgh being a lower cost flight services provider, maybe even a combination of all three. So APD is at most only part of the reason and as the rest of the UK isn’t cutting APD either and the costs are applying in Glasgow then APD shouldn’t be the headline.

Brexit worries will start to impact on consumer behaviours and as the details of the Brexit settlement become clearer people will start to react to the economic uncertainty and increasingly Brexit-related bad news. They will reign in their spending and cut down personal debt (as much as they can), they will shop around more and become more online deal motivated.

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Toys R Us and Maplin may be just the start of this, and I see a major wave of high street retail closures soon. In the worst case scenario of a ‘no deal’ Brexit bringing significant food price inflation, then we would see disposable income shrink significantly and that would mean a high street retail bloodbath.

On the news, the administrators were presented as trying to rescue these household names and that struck me as interesting as Toys R Us may be well known brand, but it’s also an American owned predatory retailer that put the final death nail in the coffin of family owned local toy shops, and given that online shopping is now killing Toys r Us business I guess that’s economic karma for you.

But what about the jobs lost? Well with every change in the dynamics of the economy the value and enjoyment of the accompanying jobs declines. For example, the job of selling toys in the independent toy shop or smaller independent high street department store was better paid and better quality work than big retail shelf stacking or Amazon warehouse box filler roles. My mum’s Sauchiehall Street shop assistant apprenticeship eventually led to being a finance director and then company owner in her 50s, at a time when women didn’t tend to own businesses. I just don’t see that social mobility being so available in today’s bullshit jobs economy.

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Additionally, Brexit means fewer jobs, and more of those remaining jobs will be meaningless dead-enders. With the EU employee protection in the hands of the Conservatives who think such protections are a luxury big business afford, tell me again why UK Labour are for Brexit?

I read the EU’s Draft EU Withdrawal Treaty and a fair few of the UK Governments red lines are being completely ignored by the EU. I noticed some loose wording around fisheries should worry Brexit supporting fishermen and then I got to the Northern Ireland deal and burst out laughing, even though it’s not funny.

The EU, it seems, has suggested a different status for Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK (if no comprehensive trade deal is reached) that basically puts Northern Ireland on a separate constitutional footing to the rest of the UK, and binds it more to Ireland. Given that the EU will know the DUP’s reaction to this in advance and probably ordered enough electronic earmuffs to save Maplin, this is a provocative move.

The thing is Brexit can’t really be stopped now, the political will in both the major UK parties isn’t there, so now it’s all about the EU Withdrawal Treaty and then the Trade Settlement (or the lack of one).

What a lot of people haven’t yet figured is that the €40bn settlement for past commitments doesn’t represent the full cost of Brexit, or rather doesn’t represent the full ongoing costs of trade access to the single market, depending on the scope of any trade agreement.

For example, Norway pay around €400m year in grants to the poorer EU nations to gain access to the single market. This equates to about 70 per cent of the what the UK pays in membership fees currently (on a per head basis) and that is just not something the UK Government can accept. The EU can’t even do a special deal with the UK because - well you know, we are special because the EU is a member of the World Trade Organisation and WTO rules format preferential deals.

And finally, we have the Scottish Parliment’s Brexit contingency Bill which is within the remit of the Scottish Parliment, as the powers it seeks to utilise to protect Scotland from a hard Brexit are only triggered at the point of Brexit. Contingency planning, that’s a good idea right?

Maybe the UK Government should have done some of that before the EU referendum. It’s good to see the Scottish Government being more assertive on Brexit, but it also needs to do the same and more in preparing for independence, or it will all be for nothing.