First Min­is­ter: We need a com­mon sense Brexit

Stur­geon to out­line work­able al­ter­na­tive to bad deal or no deal Brexit

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Han­nah Rodger

The First Min­is­ter yes­ter­day called on Bri­tain to se­cure a com­mon-sense Brexit.

Ni­cola Stur­geon said the Wesmin­ster govern­ment was pre­sent­ing a false choice be­tween a bad deal or no deal when Bri­tain leaves the EU.

Be­fore a flag­ship speech in Lon­don to­mor­row, Ms Stur­geon said: “The UK is sched­uled to leave the Eu­ro­pean Union less than six months from now – but both a with­drawal agree­ment and a clear, de­tailed state­ment on the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship must be con­cluded much sooner.

“As things stand, we still have no guar­an­tee of a tran­si­tion agree­ment or a de­tailed propo­si­tion set­ting out the fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the UK and EU.

“The UK Govern­ment seems in­tent on pre­sent­ing a false choice be­tween what­ever bad, pos­si­bly blind­fold, deal they man­age to con­clude and a no deal sce­nario.

“The Scot­tish Govern­ment will this week set out our com­mon sense, work­able al­ter­na­tive and make clear why we be­lieve there is now an op­por­tu­nity to seize an al­ter­na­tive path.” The Scot­tish Govern­ment pub­lished a pa­per to co­in­cide with the First Min­is­ter’s speech un­veil­ing a se­ries of “com­mon sense” al­ter­na­tive pro­pos­als on how the UK should leave the EU.

The pro­pos­als are ex­pected to be “far more de­tailed than any of the UK Govern­ment’s pro­pos­als so far.”

Ms Stur­geon said yes­ter­day that it was “not too late” to con­sider an al­ter­na­tive plan for Brexit.

She said: “It is not too late for pub­lic duty and calm heads to pre­vail and for a no-deal or bad, pos­si­bly blind­fold, deal to be averted. “MPS and the wider pub­lic should not ac­cept the false choice that is be­ing pre­sented – there is an al­ter­na­tive, and our pro­pos­als are the only way to truly pro­tect our busi­nesses, peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties from the worst ef­fects of Brexit. “Scot­land voted over­whelm­ingly to re­main in the EU, and our duty as a govern­ment is to work as hard as we can to en­sure that vote is re­spected and for Scot­land’s key in­ter­ests to be pro­tected. “That means stay­ing in the cus­toms union and sin­gle mar­ket, which is around eight times big­ger than the UK mar­ket alone. “With time run­ning short the UK Govern­ment must take stock and lis­ten to our pro­pos­als which have the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple of Scot­land and the rest of the UK at their heart.”

The SNP pre­vi­ously stated it would not agree to any plans which would see Scot­land leave the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union.

It comes af­ter a Scot­tish Govern­ment pa­per in Jan­uary out­lined Brexit’s im­pact on the econ­omy, stat­ing Scot­land’s out­put could be re­duced by 8.5%.

The pub­li­ca­tion will also ar­gue that nei­ther the UK Govern­ment’s sug­ges­tion of a “blind­fold” Brexit – where key de­ci­sions are not made un­til af­ter the UK ex­its the EU – mor a no-deal sce­nario should be ac­cepted.

A se­nior SNP source said the pa­per ar­gues for “the soft­est pos­si­ble Brexit”, adding: “Now it’s the tail of the ex­treme Brex­i­teer wag­ging the dog of the UK Govern­ment. The more that Scot­land’s voice is heard, the bet­ter.”

Ni­cola Stur­geon

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