John Swinney has blamed Brexit for the rising cost of living and an increase in food costs for the ordinary member of the public.

The First Minister was writing for The Herald on the eighth anniversary of Brexit being voted through and reiterated his stance that it has been a failed experiment and a move to a closer relationship with the EU should be a priority.

He wants to see Scotland get a place back in the EU and believes it’s in the best interests of everyone for it to happen. Swinney has been vocal in his criticism of Brexit and suggests that the Tories and Labour are doubling down on it and it will continue to hurt Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Swinney is certain that it remains a key talking point for voters and has told the public that only the SNP offer something different with their beliefs that the UK should admit it got it wrong over leaving the European Union and take a step back.

READ MORE: John Swinney: Five reasons why EU return is vital for growth after Brexit failures

The cost of living has been a major worry for the majority of the population over the last few years and with it not looking like changing in the immediate future, he’s calling for things to change and explained why the main parties in Westminster are doing nothing to change that with no focus on what Brexit has caused.

He said: “It’s high time therefore to talk about Brexit in this election – because it goes to the heart of people’s top concerns: the NHS, the cost of living and the resilience of the economy.

“It has been a major contributor to food prices going up and it’s wiped billions of pounds from the economy compared with EU membership. Less money in our economy means less tax revenue that could have been spent on the health service.

“The SNP is offering a different future – we want Scotland back in the EU as soon as possible and we want the UK to have the closest possible relationship with Europe – that’s in all our interests.

“Even before Brexit, the UK economy was displaying alarming weaknesses: low productivity, which is the key driver of living standards, low growth, high inequality and high levels of poverty.

“Nothing that has been said by the Westminster parties in this campaign suggests that dismal trend is going to change. 

“In fact, they are doubling down on the failed Brexit-based UK economic model that is taking Scotland in the wrong direction.

“But that of course demands an alternative: a plan for a better future for Scotland so that we can raise living standards and build a more resilient, fairer economy.”