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Scotland “undoubtedly” closer to an independence referendum

Wednesday, January 18th 2017 - 10:20 UTC
Full article 35 comments
Ms Sturgeon, in a BBC interview, agreed that another vote on independence was “all but inevitable”. Ms Sturgeon, in a BBC interview, agreed that another vote on independence was “all but inevitable”.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said that plans to take the UK out of the EU's single market brought a second Scottish independence referendum “undoubtedly” closer. She was speaking after Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her government's thinking on Brexit.

 Ms Sturgeon, in a BBC interview, agreed that another vote on independence was “all but inevitable”. She believed that Scotland should be able to choose a “different future” to the one outlined by Mrs. May.

The Scottish government has repeatedly raised the prospect of a vote on independence if Scotland's membership of the single market was threatened by a so-called hard Brexit. It has set out proposals aimed at keeping Scotland in the trade bloc even if the rest of the UK leaves.

Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU by 62% to 38% in last year's referendum, while the UK as a whole voted to leave.

In an interview with BBC Scotland following the prime minister's statement, Ms Sturgeon said the move away from the single market “undoubtedly” brings an independence referendum closer.

And when asked by Political Editor Brian Taylor if a second vote was “all but inevitable”, the first minister replied “I think that is very likely the case”.

The first minister said “there comes a point of democratic principle” where if there are to be “fundamental changes” then people should be offered a different choice. She added: “What I've heard today from the PM is an inability to engage in discussions that further compromise.

”I will continue to act in an orderly and reasonable fashion. I said I would exhaust all options, and that's what I will do. But we are going to have to see some give from the UK government.

“I am not prepared to allow Scotland's interests to be simply cast aside. I'm not prepared for Scotland to be taken down a path which I firmly believe to be damaging not just to our economy but to the very kind of society that we are.”

The prime minister spoke to Ms Sturgeon ahead of her speech, which confirmed that the UK would leave the single market while seeking the “freest possible trade in goods and services” with the EU after Brexit.

Speaking in London as she outlined her 12 objectives for the Brexit negotiations, Mrs May said the Scottish government's proposals would be considered as part of the Brexit process.

And she made clear that she wanted a “customs agreement” with the other 27 member states of the EU as part of efforts to ensure Brexit leads to tariff-free trade and “the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU's member states”.

The prime minister also said she wanted the UK to be able to negotiate trade deals with other countries around the world as part of plans to create a “truly global Britain”.

But she added: “What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market. Instead we seek the greatest possible access to it through a new comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.

”That agreement may take in elements of current single-market arrangements in certain areas.”

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • DemonTree

    @The Voice
    How many of your Scottish friends voted to stay in the EU? If it was less than 6/10, then they aren't typical. You don't choose your friends at random, so they are not a reliable guide to the population.

    Unfortunately it is probably impossible for May to come to any kind of compromise that Sturgeon would accept, especially as independence was always the aim for the SNP anyway; Brexit is just a good opportunity for them to push it through.

    Jan 18th, 2017 - 01:43 pm +3
  • The Voice

    Wee Crankie throwing toys around again. Not much sympathy from my Scotch pals with whom I shall be meeting up with at the weekend. In truth Crankie's support on exiting the UK just isn't there.

    Jan 18th, 2017 - 12:37 pm +2
  • Clyde15

    I just got fed up with the continual moaning. back biting, pseudo -Trolls and all the intellectual experts propounding their prejudices as irrefutable facts. I also noticed that I was getting as bad in the insult dept. as some of the more vociferous and sarcastic Argie. posters

    The discussions seem pointless-I know roughly what each poster is going to say as soon as I see their pseudonym. In the case of this topic, I was correct.

    Time to take stock and do something more interesting

    Jan 18th, 2017 - 05:01 pm +2
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