Theresa May must rethink her approach to Brexit after losing majority, says Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister writes to Theresa May urging the Prime Minister to “adopt a much more inclusive process in reaching UK objectives for the negotiations”
Nicola Sturgeon - credit: Scottish Government
Theresa May failed to win a mandate for a hard Brexit in the general election and the UK must rethink its approach to leaving the EU, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
The First Minister has written to May, urging the Prime Minister to “adopt a much more inclusive process in reaching UK objectives for the negotiations”, while calling for the UK to retain membership of the single market.
Sturgeon warned: “It will not be possible for the UK to effectively implement the outcome of Brexit negotiations without the co-operation of devolved governments. It is therefore essential that we are part of the negotiating process.”
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She also re-iterated her call to re-convene the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations and establish a cross-party advisory group, comprising parties represented at Westminster and parties from both sides of the political debate in Northern Ireland, to “broaden support” for the UK’s negotiating position.
The FM also urged May to guarantee the rights of EU nationals to remain in the UK after Brexit.
The letter says: “Removing the UK, and Scotland in particular, from the European Single Market and Customs Union, will cause severe long-term economic damage, hitting jobs, growth and living standards. It is therefore essential that membership of the European Single Market, and participation in the EU Customs Union is protected.
“During the election you sought a mandate for your proposals to leave the European Single Market. That proposal failed to garner support, it is now clear that a new proposal is needed urgently to protect the economy and bring people together.”
On Monday Sturgeon called for a pause in Brexit negotiations following the general election.
The Scottish Government produced a document, “Scotland’s Place in Europe”, in December outlining how the UK could leave the EU while retaining access to the single market.
“The UK Government must also adopt a much more inclusive process in reaching UK objectives for the negotiations. Firstly, the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations should be re-convened immediately and work to fulfil its original terms of reference to agree a UK approach to and objectives for the negotiations.
“The Scottish Government stands ready to engage fully and constructively in that committee, which must operate on the basis of trust and a genuine opportunity to influence the UK approach. To broaden support for the negotiating position this should be accompanied by the establishment of a cross-party advisory group, comprising those parties represented at Westminster and parties from both sides of the political debate in Northern Ireland, alongside the UK and devolved governments.”
Speaking in Edinburgh the First Minister will argue that, with immigration essential to maintaining Scotland’s population, “the case for a different approach here is, to my mind, overwhelming”
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