Sunday 17 December 2017

Scotland's proposal to avoid Brexit 'disaster'

Plan of action: Michael Russell Photo: Reuters
Plan of action: Michael Russell Photo: Reuters

Michael Holden

Scotland will publish proposals this week for how it can remain in the European single market after Britain leaves the EU in order to avoid the "national disaster" of a "hard Brexit", the Scottish government said yesterday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal process of leaving the EU, by the end of March to kick off two years of exit talks.

However, her plans for those negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy and businesses and investors fear Britain might seek a "hard Brexit" where controlling immigration takes priority over access to the European single market.

Scotland strongly backed remaining in the bloc in June's referendum.

The country's devolved nationalist government has said it wants to stay part of the EU when the rest of the UK leaves, and will today put forward plans for remaining in the single market.

"In line with our commitments to explore all options to protect Scotland's interests, we will set out compromise proposals which, while not conferring the full benefits of EU membership, would mitigate the Brexit damage," said Michael Russell, the Scottish government's minister for EU negotiations.

Irish Independent

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