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Sturgeon: Retaining single market membership is the "least worst" Brexit option

16 January, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Brexit news- Andrew Marr and Nicola Sturgeon

Speaking on the BBC Andrew Marr Program, the first minister said that people wanted to see clarity on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and Europe.

Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs last month the UK Government had not carried out any economic impact assessments of Brexit on the UK.

"Indeed, as our analysis will show - the harder the Brexit the worse will be the outcome".

In contrast, staying in the European Union could result in the United Kingdom economy growing by 2.4% if integration of Europe's single market in digital industries, energy and services intensified.

The UK government has accused the SNP of trying to undermine the Brexit vote.

She had reiterated her party's view on a second independence vote, saying the country must have a choice at the end of Brexit negotiations with the European Union, signaling a new referendum on Scottish independence.

"In Scotland, the situation is even more weird because when you listen to what Ruth Davidson says, diverging from Theresa May's policy, Scottish Labour seems to be the only party in Scotland that is opposed to single market membership". But Sturgeon said she believed his position could be changed if there was enough opposition from within Labour.

She said the evidence presented in the document shows that "the best way to minimise the economic damage of Brexit is to stay inside the single market". Even so, Sturgeon said: "I do believe there is a majority to be harnessed [in favour of] single market membership".

This compares to a 6.1 percent (9.0 billion) fall if a free trade accord is signed with the bloc, and 2.7 percent (4.0 billion) drop if the United Kingdom joins the European Economic Area and therefore stays part of the single market.

On Thursday Farage angered many Brexiters, and many in Ukip, when he said he was coming round to the view that the country might need to hold a second referendum in order to close down the European Union argument for good. This variant of Brexit would see the Scottish GDP 2.7 percent less in 2030 (£688 per head).

Her remarks came ahead of the publication of the Scottish government's study about Brexit's impact on Scotland's economy.

If passed, the move would stop ministers being able to use so-called Henry VIII powers to take Britain out of the single market and customs union. Russell said that suggested differentiated deals for different parts of the United Kingdom were entirely possible. The lack of any United Kingdom government studies to support its plan to leave the trading bloc means "hard Brexiteers have had their chance and failed", it will say.



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