Sturgeon: Scotland’s place in single market ‘integral’
Nicola Sturgeon © Kenneth Halley
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has called on UK PM Theresa May to make Scotland’s continued membership of the single market “an integral element” of Brexit negotiations.
Sturgeon put forward a series of proposals aimed at maintaining trade and freedom of movement regardless of the UK’s final deal.
Launching the document Sturgeon described it as “detailed, serious and reasonable and … aimed first and foremost at the UK government.”
She added: “[It is] a serious and genuine attempt to build as much consensus as possible, to square the circle and to unify the country around a clear plan to protect our interests. I hope and expect that the UK government in considering these proposals will demonstrate the same flexibility.”
At the centre of the paper was a framework proposed to maintain Scotland’s place within the single market by becoming a full or associate member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Sturgeon said: “… This paper sets out how free movement of goods, services and people would continue across the UK even with Scotland in the single market and the rest of the UK not. If the UK opts to leave the customs unions then Scotland, in common with other EFTA/EEA countries, would not be in the customs union either … The border between Scotland and England would not be an external EU customs border.”
May pledged to look “very seriously” at the proposals.
The document is expected to be discussed in detail when the UK government and devolved administrations meet at the next joint ministerial committee in January.