Sturgeon to use election win to secure seat at Brexit talks

Claudine Rigal
Mai 16, 2017

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to say an SNP victory in the General Election in Scotland would give her a mandate to demand the Prime Minister includes the Scottish Government at the Brexit negotiating table.

Speaking earlier on BBC Radio Scotland, Ms Sturgeon was questioned further on her plans for independence after she ruled out adopting the euro in a series of Sunday interviews.

Independence is a major plank of Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP) campaign for the June 8 election, and anything that reinforces Scottish resentment over perceived English arrogance could play into the SNP's hands.

The SNP leader said that "by necessity" Scotland might have to pursue membership of the European Free Trade Association before achieving full membership to the bloc.

"We at the CBI think the current priority should be clarity on what a future UK-EU deal could look like, and ensuring the needs of Scotland are included, rather than constitutional issues".

In fact, all new European Union members who joined in 2004 (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Malta), in 2007 (Bulgaria and Romania) and Croatia in 2013, are under the obligation to join the euro, according to their accession treaties.

EFTA members participate in the EU's single market - one of Scotland's main goals.

"Now it may be that we have a phased approach", she added, confirming that Scotland may have to consider EFTA membership first "by necessity".

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie visited a scrapyard in Inverkeithing to call on Ms Sturgeon to "scrap the SNP's independence referendum".

Analysis of the results in the two councils that make up Gordon - six wards in Aberdeenshire and two in the City of Aberdeen - show that while the Conservatives got most first-preference votes in those eight wards, they actually won fewer council seats than the SNP. "We have to set that out at the time, because there are still some uncertainties, many uncertainties, around the Brexit process", Sturgeon said.

Since then, the pro-independence Scottish government's proposals to keep Scotland in the single market after the United Kingdom leaves were rejected by London as unworkable, and relations have been strained.

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw responded to Ms Sturgeon's comments by claiming her position on Europe had descended into "complete chaos".

"Nobody is going to be fooled by these political games".

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said the first minister "is trying to use Brexit as the excuse for another divisive referendum, but won't be straight with people about her position on European Union membership".

She told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show her position remained that she wanted an independent Scotland to be in the EU. "People in Scotland can see through Nicola Sturgeon's contortions on Europe, which is why a majority don't want another divisive referendum".

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