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16 January 2018, 12:48 | Cedric Leonard
Nicola Sturgeon to reveal research showing hard Brexit will be “economic disaster” for Scotland
While Scots in 2014 were told that they had to remain anchored to the United Kingdom in order to remain in the EU, Nicola Sturgeon is now suggesting that leaving the United Kingdom maybe the only possibility to Remain in the EU.
"Indeed, as our analysis will show - the harder the Brexit the worse will be the outcome", Sturgeon pointed out.
"For the sake of jobs, the economy and the next generation, today we are calling on the UK Government to drop its hard Brexit red-lines so that Scotland and the UK can stay inside the Single Market and Customs Union".
Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, voted to Remain in the European Union during the 2016 referendum and the SNP have vowed not to allow the country to be taken out of the bloc against its will.
She was challenged to acknowledge that a decision to hold a second referendum then would not leave enough time for the independence vote before the UK's planned withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019.
Scotland economy will face a loss of £12.7 billion ($17.4 billion) by 2030 if the United Kingdom leaves European single market without a trade deal, a paper published by Scottish government said on Monday.
That was "absolutely, manifestly, beyond any doubt the option which will do the least damage to our economy", Sturgeon said.
"Scotland is particularly well-placed to take advantage of the developing and deepening single market - the world's biggest economy of 500 million people, eight times the size of the United Kingdom", she said.
Mr Corbyn rejected a fresh appeal from the First Minister for his party to support an SNP-backed amendment on the single market when the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is debated this week. It was a "ridiculous position" for him to take, Sturgeon said: "Norway stands as the living proof that this just can't be the case". Even so, Sturgeon said: "I do believe there is a majority to be harnessed [in favour of] single market membership".
Revisiting the theme of an independence referendum comes prior to the publication of an impact assessment report of Brexit for the Scottish economy.
The paper analyses the potential impact of three scenarios: EEA membership similar to Norway's, a Canada-style free-trade agreement and reverting to basic WTO rules.
"Such impacts should however come as no surprise, as we will be leaving the largest single market in the world of over half a billion people", he said.
Mr Streeting said there was "no such thing as a jobs-first Brexit outside the single market", adding that European Union regulations within the bloc were "the best insurance policy against the kind of race-to-the-bottom in the economy that Richard Leonard is rightly critical of". Russell said that suggested differentiated deals for different parts of the United Kingdom were entirely possible.
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