Kristian Rouz – Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for the UK to remain in a single market with the EU after Brexit, saying she is seeking to achieve a deal with London allowing Scotland to maintain its trade ties with the continent. Her comments sparked concern in London over Scotland possibly seeking to undermine the Brexit process.
The first minister said it is “beggars belief” that the UK has no chance to explicitly define its desired relationship with the EU post-Brexit. Britain’s separation from the bloc is slated for the spring of 2019.
“There is zero credible evidence to suggest leaving the Single Market will bring any benefit to our economy. Indeed, as our analysis will show — the harder the Brexit, the worse will be the outcome,” Sturgeon said.
Her remarks come ahead of the release of Scotland’s governmental assessment of the possible damages to the Scottish economy posed by Brexit. Sturgeon also insists she will keep Scotland’s traditionally strong economic ties with the EU for whatever it takes.
She also said now Scotland has a ‘golden opportunity’ to affect the UK’s stance on Brexit. This comes amidst political discord in London over the path of separation from the EU regarding the so-called ‘divorce bill’, a possible trade deal, and the lingering possibility of a ‘hard Brexit’ scenario.
This comes as the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May is gearing up for negotiations on a future trade deal with the EU. Sturgeon said PM May must pursue a strategy making Brexit as ‘soft’ as possible in order to minimise the damage to the UK’s economy.
The Scottish first minister’s remarks produced some resentment in London. The Tories have maintained all parts of the UK must adopt a single platform regarding the Brexit process so that EU officials are unable to gain an upper hand in the ongoing talks. However, the UK is currently divided politically, with the Tory and Unionist cabinet heavily reliant on the support from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Ulster.
Wales has supported the Brexit decision all along, ever since voting to ‘Leave’ back in June 2016. Scotland and the Scottish National Party (SNP) thus remain the only substantial obstacle to the Brexit hardliners in London seeking to enforce their agenda.
The SNP’s position has gained some support from the Labour Party — which seeks to do as much political damage to the Tory cabinet as it possibly can. This weekend, Lord Adonis voiced his support for Sturgeon’s bid to block Brexit.
“Her (Sturgeon’s) voice is a powerful one and I hope I can work closely with her in forcing Theresa May to let the people of the UK make the final decision on the Brexit deal that’s negotiated,” Lord Adonis reportedly said.
The Labour’s globalist agenda has been closely aligned with the goals of the ‘Remain’ camp. The UK’s economy has posted substantial gains since June 2016, driven by the expansion in manufacturing and a growth in national exports.
This has benefitted the working class in the North of England, primarily. Labour’s position opposing the interest of the provincial working class has raised some eyebrows.
“Nicola Sturgeon has done absolutely the right thing in pursuing her position on a soft Brexit,” Lord Adonis said. “She’s made clear the lunacy of leaving the EU by constantly arguing for a soft Brexit and for European integration. The first minister has done a good job at standing up for Scotland in the Europe debate.”
Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbin — referred to as a ‘communist’ by Noel Gallagher, who has long advocated the interest of the Northern England working class — is reportedly weighing a bid to demand a second Brexit referendum. This might allow Labour to mobilise its younger supporters to reverse and, ultimately, put an end to the Brexit process.
The Scottish government’s paper titled ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment’ is set to be released later this week, outlining the benefits of freedom of movement within the EU for the Scottish economy.
This despite most migrants have consistently chosen to settle in London and England’s Southeast during the UK’s decades as part of the EU.
Additionally, the Labour Party said it might propose a bid to keep the UK at east in the single market and customs union with the EU. Other parties — such as SNP, LibDems, Plaid Cymru, and Greens — said they would back this proposal.