Scottish leader 'will look at independence vote by end of year'

Lester Mason
January 15, 2018

But Sturgeon's party says continued single market membership would be the option that best reflects the fact that a majority of Scots vote in the 2016 referendum to stay in the EU.

She also warned time was running out to prevent the "economic disaster" of a hard Brexit.

The figure is contained in a paper on the impact of United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union, to be published later.

The forecasts come in a new paper published by the devolved administration.

Before publishing a study of the economic impact of Brexit on Scotland on Monday, Sturgeon, whose nationalist SNP runs the devolved Scottish government, said there was no alternative to European Union membership that could deliver the same economic benefits.

They include the impact of Scotland remaining within the single market and customs union, or the United Kingdom securing a free trade agreement.

The Scottish Government's study, to be launched by Ms Sturgeon in Edinburgh on Monday, looks at the impact of three different Brexit outcomes on GDP, trade and immigration.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday there was a "golden opportunity" to argue for Britain to remain in the European single market after Brexit, as no-one had yet demonstrated the benefit of loosening trade ties with the EU.


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

"Our brilliant world-class universities, our unrivalled potential in renewable energy, our life sciences industry, our digital sector and other key areas of the Scottish economy are all in prime position to reap the rewards of these developments". It would be a tragedy for future generations if we let that opportunity pass us by.

"Of course, there is no alternative arrangement that can deliver the jobs, people and economic benefit that come from remaining members of the European Union - but if the United Kingdom continues down the path of leaving the EU, it is the Prime Minister's duty to do as little harm as possible to the economy".

"With just weeks to go before the opening of talks on the future relationship that extreme stance must be dropped".

The Scottish Conservatives urged Ms Sturgeon to make it clear she is no longer pursuing such a deal, and called on her to back UK-wide trade and immigration rules.

He said: "Her voice is a powerful one and I hope I can work closely with her in forcing Theresa May to let the people of the United Kingdom make the final decision on the Brexit deal that's negotiated".

"That means there is now a golden opportunity for those moderate voices who are making the case for Scotland and the United Kingdom to remain in the single market".

"Scotland trades four times as much with the rest of the United Kingdom as it does with the European Union, so it is vital that we ensure that market continues unimpeded".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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