Nicola Sturgeon: 'Much looser' Brexit deal means Scots must have independence choice

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
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Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish people must have the option of choosing independence as she rejected the Brexit deal struck by Boris Johnson.

The First Minister claimed provisions for a ‘level playing field’ between the UK and EU under the new agreement were “much looser” than under the previous deal agreed by Theresa May, threatening existing employment rights and environmental standards.

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The deal is now set to come before MPs on Saturday, with the government facing a frantic 48-hour dash for votes as their DUP allies continue to withhold support.

Labour has said it will bring a motion for a referendum on the deal, with the SNP and Liberal Democrats set to offer their backing.

“Scotland did not vote for Brexit in any form, and SNP MPs will not vote for Brexit in any form – especially when it is clear that Scotland, alone of the nations of the UK, is being treated unfairly,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“We support efforts to ensure peace and stability on the island of Ireland, in line with the Good Friday Agreement, which must be respected.

“At the same time, it cannot be right that Scotland alone is facing an outcome it did not vote for – that is democratically unacceptable and makes a mockery of claims that the UK is in any way a partnership of equals.

“The Brexit envisaged by Boris Johnson is one which sees a much looser relationship with the EU when it comes to issues like food standards, environmental protections and workers’ rights.

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“That is not the future that I or my government envisage for Scotland.

“And in the circumstances which now prevail it is clearer than ever that the best future for Scotland is one as an equal, independent European nation. That is a choice I am determined to ensure is given to the people of Scotland.”