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Montevideo, August 21st 2017 - 06:23 UTC

Scotland links Brexit negotiations to a second independence referendum

Monday, January 9th 2017 - 11:14 UTC
Full article 31 comments
Ms Sturgeon has said she wants the UK to retain membership of the European single market, the so-called soft Brexit option. Ms Sturgeon has said she wants the UK to retain membership of the European single market, the so-called soft Brexit option.
She warned the UK and Ms May “they will be making a big mistake if they think I am in any way bluffing” on the prospect of another Scottish independence vote She warned the UK and Ms May “they will be making a big mistake if they think I am in any way bluffing” on the prospect of another Scottish independence vote

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned Prime Minister Theresa May that she is not “bluffing” on the promise of a second independence referendum if Scotland is “driven off a hard Brexit cliff”. In an interview with BBC's Andrew Marr she felt the prime minister had “no plan” in terms of her strategy for the UK leaving the EU.

 However Ms Sturgeon said she was prepared to compromise and wants Mrs. May to do the same. The UK government has said a special deal for Scotland is unrealistic.

British prime minister said on Sunday morning the government's thinking on Brexit “isn't muddled at all”. In an interview on Sky News, PM May said her priority was to get the “best possible deal in terms of our trading relationship with the European Union”. Brexit talks with the EU are expected to begin as early as April.

Scottish opposition parties have called for Ms Sturgeon to rule out a second independence referendum. Voters in Scotland backed the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38%.

Ms Sturgeon has said she wants the UK to retain membership of the European single market, the so-called soft Brexit option. She has also indicated a soft Brexit would see the prospect of Scottish independence “put aside” in the short term.

However, in an interview for the Andrew Marr program, she warned the UK government and Ms May that “they will be making a big mistake if they think I am in any way bluffing” on the prospect of another Scottish independence referendum.

She said that if the UK opts for leaving the single market then she would “give Scotland the opportunity to decide whether it wants to be driven off a hard Brexit cliff by right-wing Tory Brexiteers or whether it wants to take control of its own future”.

Asked if she was looking at a referendum “much quicker” than in five or 10 years' time following a hard Brexit she said: “I would think, yes. But let me not get away from this point, I'm putting to Theresa May a compromise solution.”
Ms Sturgeon also told the BBC presenter that discussions with the UK government over the Brexit options had left her “frustrated”. She said: ”I don't feel as if I know any more about her (Theresa May's) negotiating objectives than I did six months ago.“

Asked if she seriously thinks ”there is no plan“, the first minister said: ”Yes I do“. She added: ”I say that with a lot of regret as that puts every part of the UK into a very perilous position.“

Ms Sturgeon highlighted a meeting at Downing Street in October which also involved the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland. She said: ”I'm not exaggerating too much when I say the prime minister sat on the other side of the table at that meeting and said 'Brexit means Brexit' and not a lot more.”I came out of that meeting more frustrated, after a meeting of that nature, than I have ever been before.”

Categories: Economy, International.

Top Comments

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  • Devonian

    So it's a case of “Do as the Scots say - or else”. If I was Theresa May I'd be inclined to call Nicola Sturgeon's bluff. I find it very difficult to understand the SNP's position on wanting to leave the union with England but desperate to remain in the European Union. I actually do have a good idea why this is the case; England tends to be quite a conservative country and often elects a Conservative Govt. whereas Scotland is a much more socialist country and the politics of the EU (which is also more socialist in its outlook) better accords with the politics of the SNP.

    Jan 09th, 2017 - 02:49 pm +5
  • Bisley

    Scotland leaving the UK would be great for the south -- eliminating the expense of supporting them, and ridding Parliament of their gang of leftist MPs. Unfortunately, most of the Scots know they couldn't live as well without the aid they're getting from the rest of the country -- they aren't about to leave.

    Jan 09th, 2017 - 04:06 pm +4
  • Brit Bob

    Scotland's deficit reached almost £15 billion in the last financial year after revenues from North Sea oil and gas fell by more than 50%, figures have revealed.
    The Scottish Government published its latest data on revenue and expenditure, which showed a deficit of £14.9 billion for 2014-15 when a geographic share of North Sea revenues is allocated to Scotland.
    That amounts to 9.7% of Scottish GDP, compared with the overall UK deficit of 4.9% of GDP.
    North Sea revenue fell from more than £10.9 billion in 2011-12 to less than £4.8 billion in 2013-14, before dropping to £2.25 billion last year, according to the data.
    Ooooh. Sturgeon got a magic wand?

    Jan 09th, 2017 - 12:17 pm +3
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