The Herald

SNP says position on single market is untenable


THE failure of Theresa May’s Government to make clear its position on Britain’s single market membership postBrexit is “completely untenable”, a senior SNP minister has claimed.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown’s attack came as he repeated Nicola Sturgeon’s warnings that Scotland’s trading interests would be severely damaged by leaving the EU.

Mrs May has dismissed proposals put forward last week by the First Minister that would allow Scotland to remain in the single market if the rest of the UK leaves, through the European Free Trade Associatio­n and the European Economic Area.

On Friday, it was reported that The Queen was “disappoint­ed” with Mrs May after she stuck to her “Brexit means Brexit” line without giving other details of the Brexit plan.

Mr Brown urged the UK Government to explore options for a differenti­ated outcome north of the Border, after Mrs May played down the prospect of a separate Scottish Brexit deal.

He highlighte­d research suggesting leaving the single market could reduce Scottish GDP by £11 billion per year by 2030, cost the country 80,000 jobs over 10 years and slash average incomes by almost £2,000.

Mr Brown said: “More than six months on from the referendum, it is completely untenable that the UK Government are unable to give even an indicative position on whether it supports staying in the single market.

A UK Government spokeswoma­n said: “The Prime Minister has repeatedly made clear we want to ensure British companies have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the single market.”

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