Nicola Sturgeon has written to Theresa May demanding that the Scottish Government be brought into the Brexit talks and warned against "wasting" the latest EU extension.
The Scottish First Minister also stepped up calls for a second referendum on Brexit to be held on any deal which is reached, insisting that the October 31 extension now allows time for this. The need for Scotland to remain in the EU single market and customs union was emphasised by Ms Sturgeon in her letter to the Prime Minister today.
“We now have the gift of more time from the EU, and that must be used constructively to re-set the UK Government approach," the Scottish First Minister states. "Your ongoing talks with the Leader of the Opposition should now broaden to include other parties, the devolved administrations, business and civic society, and open up the range of options on the table in an effort to reach a genuine consensus. "If such talks are to stand any chance of success you must be prepared to recognise in particular that it is essential for Scotland, at the very least, to stay inside the Single Market and continue to benefit from freedom of movement."
Mrs May is currently holding talks with Labour to seek a compromise deal which could pass in the Commons after her own Withdrawal agreement was twice rejected by the UK Parliament. It could be brought back for a third vote after the Easter break, but Ms Sturgeon says any deal must be put to the people.
"The Scottish Government considers that any deal agreed by the UK Parliament should be put to another referendum, with the alternative proposition on the ballot paper being to remain in the EU," her letter adds.
"The extension to 31 October provides enough time to do this, and it is essential that no time is lost in making the necessary preparations."