Nicola Sturgeon insists it may be possible for Scotland to remain in both the EU and the UK
Theresa May last week said she would not trigger Article 50 until there is an agreed approach to Brexit across the UK
Nicola Sturgeon and Jean-Claude Juncker - credit: European Commission
Nicola Sturgeon has insisted it may be possible for Scotland to remain in both the EU and the UK, even if the UK triggers Article 50.
But the First Minister also said she will consider holding a second referendum on Scottish independence in 2017, if the UK leaves the EU without securing backing from Scotland.
Prime Minister Theresa May last week said she would not trigger Article 50 until there is an agreed approach to Brexit across the UK.
But the PM also ruled out another independence referendum, saying the SNP should “abide by” the result of the 2014 vote.
May said: “We now have the challenge, though, as the United Kingdom to ensure that we can get the best possible deal for the whole of the United Kingdom from the EU negotiations when the UK leaves the EU.
“I’m very clear that the Government I lead will be for all parts of the United Kingdom and for all people.”
Sturgeon said May’s comments put Scotland in a strong position in negotiations over Brexit.
Discussing whether there is a way Scotland could stay in the EU following Brexit, Sturgeon said: “My position is there might be. When you are in uncharted territory with effectively a blank sheet of paper in front of you, then you have the opportunity to try to think things that might have previously been unthinkable and shape the future. I think there are opportunities... We will certainly bring forward options."
But the FM also warned that if Scotland was not “on board” with Brexit negotiations, a second independence referendum “would be an option and a decision that I would have to consider, if we had found it impossible to defend Scotland’s interests within the UK.”
New Brexit minister David Davis has suggested Article 50 should be triggered in December, with Sturgeon suggesting that a second independence vote would take place before the UK completed the two year exit process.
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