First Minister brands Brexit a “reckless” endangerment of public services
FIRST MINISTER Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to plough ahead with her plans for a Scottish independence referendum following what she called the “reckless” beginning of the Brexit process.
Writing for the Guardian newspaper, Sturgeon said that Prime Minister Theresa May could no longer maintain the “democratically indefensible” position of seeking the UK’s national independence from the EU whilst denying Scotland the right to self-determination.
“For a prime minister who on Wednesday proclaimed Brexit as an exercise in self-determination to now seek to block Scotland’s own right to self-determination would be democratically indefensible.” Nicola Sturgeon
Writing after the Scottish Parliament voted to request Westminster co-operation in a second independence referendum (Tuesday 28 March), sturgeon wrote: “The Scottish parliament this week voted to mandate formal discussions with the UK government on the process to give the people of Scotland a choice on their future. For a prime minister who on Wednesday proclaimed Brexit as an exercise in self-determination to now seek to block Scotland’s own right to self-determination would be democratically indefensible.
“My purpose – as it has been since last June – is to seek discussion and compromise. The prime minister says now is not the time for an independence referendum; I agree with that. But the PM has also indicated that she believes the details of the final Brexit deal will be clear in around 18 months to two years from now, which is the timescale I have indicated would then be appropriate for people in Scotland to be given a choice on their future.”
Hours after May began the formal process of leaving the EU, by sending a letter under the terms of the Article 50 mechanism for leaving the EU to European Commission President Donald Tusk, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leadership of the European Parliament rejected one of the key hopes of Tory negotiation plans.
Alongside the German premier, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt refused out of hand the notion of a dual negotiation, wherein exit talks and a new deal between the UK and the EU would be held concurrently.
The EU leaders insisted instead Brexit would have to be completed first, before any new arrangement.
In the article, Sturgeon described the decision to begin the UK’s exit from the EU as “reckless”, endangering the UK’s global standing and vital public services.
The Scottish Brexit minister, Mike Russell, has said that Scotland will attempt to negotiate a second referendum with the UK Government.
Today (30 March) the UK will set out its plans to scrap or replace thousands of EU laws with its Great Repeal Bill.
Picture courtesy of First Minister of Scotland
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