UK decision to quit EU single market makes Scotland independence likelier: Nicola Sturgeon

January 18, 2017 8:30 am

Scottish First Minister arrrives at 10 Downing Street in central London on October 24, 2016. (Photos by AFP)

The British government’s decision to leave the European Union’s single market would make ’s independence likelier, says Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
She made the remarks on Tuesday after a key speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who announced that would leave the European Union’s single market as part of Brexit.
Sturgeon who had warned of leaving the single market, linking it to Scotland’s independence, reacted to the announcement, asserting that a hard Brexit, as proposed by May, “threatens to be economically catastrophic,” and makes a second independence referendum “even more likely” for Scotland.
“The government cannot be allowed to take us out of the EU and the single market, regardless of the impact on our economy, jobs, living standards … without Scotland having the ability to choose between that and a different future,” she noted.
May said in her speech at London’s Lancaster House that “Brexit must mean control of the number of people coming from , and that is what we will deliver. What I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.”
Ruth Davidson, leader of May’s Conservative Party in Scotland, said Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party should back off the threat of another referendum for independence.+

The sun sets behind The Palace of Westminster in London on January 17, 2017.

“The Scottish National Party should have the good grace to accept that many of its own demands – including the protection of workers’ rights, and the protection of rights for EU citizens in Britain and cross-border cooperation on tackling crime – have been recognized by the UK government,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Scottish government was preparing to meet with British authorities in London on Thursday.
In a landmark referendum held on June 23, nearly 52 percent of British voters, amounting to more than 17 million citizens, opted to leave the EU. The majority of voters in Scotland did not back Brexit.
Sturgeon said ahead of May’s speech on Monday that the decision not only raises “pretty profound and fundamental questions about what kind of country we want to be,” but also “who gets to decide that, because this is not a path that the majority of people in Scotland decided to take.”
Scotland held its first referendum in 2014, when over 55 percent of the people voted against independence while nearly 45 percent backed it.
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