FMQs: Nicola Sturgeon vows to ‘save Scotland from Brexit’

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is determined to save Scotland from Brexit. Picture: John Devlin

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is determined to save Scotland from Brexit. Picture: John Devlin

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “determined to save Scotland from Brexit”.

The First Minister condemned the UK Government after Theresa May made clear Britain will no longer be part of the single market when it exits the European Union.

The SNP leader said the Scottish Government will “continue to argue that our businesses should continue to be free to trade within the European single market”.

She again attacked the Conservatives over Europe, accusing the party of putting its “obsession with immigration” ahead of the interests of the economy.

While the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, almost two-thirds of Scots who took part in the ballot wanted to stay part of Europe.

Ms Sturgeon declared: “I am determined to save Scotland from Brexit.

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“It’s not just the case that the Tories are running towards Brexit, they want to drag Scotland kicking and screaming over that Brexit cliff-edge and I’m determined they are not going to get away with this.”

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, she insisted the “last thing our businesses need right now, whether they are in Scotland or in other parts of the UK, is to be ripped out of the world’s biggest single market”.

She added: “That is the future they face because of a Conservative Government’s obsession with immigration, rather than putting the interests of the economy first.

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“So we will continue to provide fair support through the business rates scheme to our business, but we will also continue to argue that our businesses should continue to be free to trade within the European single market.”

Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie called for an update on the draft legislation for a second independence referendum.

He said: “The Scottish Conservatives may now be merrily trotting along behind the Brexit cheerleaders but it seems only five minutes ago that they were all for protecting our place in the single market, and we’ve heard from the Prime Minister empty words about considering Scotland’s position but from everything else she says it seems she has already ruled out doing anything about it.

“So I do want to hear reassurances from the First Minister that there will be no delay to the legislation to keep open the option for the people of Scotland to decide for themselves whether they want to stay on the Brexit bus as it heads over that cliff.”

Mr Harvie also called on the First Minister to rethink the Government’s income tax policy in light of the potential impact of leaving the single market.

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