SNP minister forced to defend Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘impossible’ Brexit deal for Scotland

In a prickly interview on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Politics, Fiona Hyslop accused host Gordon Brewer of being “offensive” after he relayed some of the negative responses Sturgeon’s plan had received.

Ms Hyslop told Mr Brewer: “You’re putting words in the mouths of others, you’re not understanding where we are in the process.

“Nobody is negotiating with anybody because Article 50 has not been triggered by the UK Government.”

Responding to Sturgeon’s desire to keep Scotland in the single market even if the rest of the UK comes out, Spanish MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons branded the move “impossible” while Norway’s trade minister, Monica Maeland, told a meeting in Geneva that the plan was out of the question because Scotland is not a sovereign state.

The final blow came from Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones, who said Sturgeon’s single market plans could not “possibly work” in what appears to be a diplomatic shambles for the Scottish Government.

Two of Scotland’s leading political figures have travelled to Europe this week to discuss the implications of Brexit for Edinburgh.

Brexit Minister, Mike Russell, was caught making inaccurate claims to Brussels diplomats that Scottish ministers were in talks with the Spanish government about Britain’s exit from the EU.

Meanwhile, Alex Salmond MP spoke with the four European Free Trade Association members in Switzerland, hoping to secure a similar deal to the Swiss who have access to the EU single market.

Ms Hyslop asserted during the interview that some EU members were “very sympathetic” to Scotland’s wish to remain a member of the European bloc, claiming talks were going on behind closed doors.

However, several European ministers are apprehensive about backing Scotland to remain because it could spark other separatist movements.

The news comes after Brussels’ top Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt backed plans for Britons to get the option to buy EU citizenship.

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