First Minister Sturgeon: Brexit deal will decide second referendum on Scottish independence


Speaking on the BBC Andrew Marr Program, the first minister said that people wanted to see clarity on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and Europe.

The UK government accused the SNP of "trying to undermine the result of a democratic referendum".

Sturgeon predicted a majority of British lawmakers would support single market membership, despite Prime Minister Theresa May ruling it out largely owing to its condition of continuing free movement of people.

Ms Sturgeon said that so-called hard Brexiteers had failed to show how their approach would compensate for the loss of access to European markets.

Sturgeon called on the government to "stop being driven by the obsessions of the hard Brexit wing of the Conservative Party".

Ms Sturgeon added: "It beggars belief the UK Government has not produced any meaningful assessment". The lack of any United Kingdom government studies to support its plan to leave the trading bloc means "hard Brexiteers have had their chance and failed", it will say.

'Of course, there is no alternative arrangement that can deliver the jobs, people and economic benefit that come from remaining members of the European Union but if the United Kingdom continues down the path of leaving the EU, it is the Prime Minister's duty to do as little harm as possible to the economy.

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The report, titled "Scotland's Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment" considered three different Brexit scenarios: EEA membership, a Canada-style free-trade agreement, and going back to basic World Trade Organisation rules.

"The aim of the Scottish Government, and the evidence presented in this paper, is to start opening those doors again".

A No10 spokesman said: "We are seeking a deal that works for the whole United Kingdom".

"Rather than trying to undermine the result of a democratic referendum, we urge the Scottish government to work with us to ensure, as we leave the European Union, we protect the UK's vital internal market". Moreover, it is pointed out that Scotland trades within the United Kingdom four times as much as the country trades with the Single Market.

The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and Greens have joined forces to back an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill when it returns to the Commons this week.

She said that was still an option and her Brexit minister, Mike Russell, pointed at the putative deal for Northern Ireland being negotiated where it would have close harmonisation with European Union rules to protect cross-border trade with Ireland.

The move follows a Brexit summit by the leaders of the four parties which Labour refused to attend.