Alex Salmond has insisted that Scotland can stay within the European single market while maintaining barrier-free trade with the rest of the UK, pointing to Liechtenstein and Switzerland as an example of Scotland’s post-Brexit status in the Union.
Ahead of talks between Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May today, the former First Minister called for “political imagination” to allow Scotland to get its own Brexit deal.
“Liechtenstein and Switzerland are in a monetary union, a customs union, a passport union, but Liechtenstein is within the European Economic Area and the single marketplace, and Switzerland is not,” Mr Salmond said.
He added: “If Theresa May bulldozes her way through, and says we’re leaving the single market, there will be no concessions, and then says she won’t pay any attention to Scotland, and Scottish jobs and investment, then as the First Minister says, a renewed Scottish independence referendum becomes very likely.”
Mr Salmond repeated his view that “the sensible time” for indyref2 would before the end of 2018, “so Scotland would have the option of a continuous membership of the EU, or certainly of the EEA”.
Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister of Poland warned Brexit talks “could last for three or four years” because finding agreement on single market access will be “so difficult”.