Spain rejects Nicola Sturgeon's plan for Scotland to stay in single market

Written by Emilio Casalicchio on 22 December 2016 in News

Earlier this week the First Minister outlined proposals for Scotland to stay in the single market even if the UK as a whole leaves

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - Image credit: Office of the First Minister

Spanish politicians have rejected Nicola Sturgeon's proposal to keep Scotland in the single market after Brexit even the UK as whole leaves.

The First Minister published a proposal earlier this week for a bespoke Scottish Brexit deal in the event of the UK leaving the single market, which she hoped would be welcomed by the UK government and EU states.

But the plan was almost immediately dismissed by Spain, which is a powerful voice in the EU and fears giving succour to its own nationalist debate over independence in Catalonia.


RELATED CONTENT

Scottish Government Brexit proposals will be given ‘careful consideration’, says UK Government

Scottish Government Brexit plan: Nicola Sturgeon outlines options for retaining access to single market


Jorge Toledo, the Spanish secretary of state for the European Union, said: “If the UK leaves the single market, the whole UK will leave the single market. There is only one negotiator, the UK government.”

Sturgeon, who would need to get her plan signed off by all 27 remaining EU members for it to be actioned, has already faced stiff opposition from Spain.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy told a European Council meeting in June he would block any separate Brexit deal for Scotland that might encourage the Catalans.

“If the UK goes, Scotland goes. The Spanish government is against negotiations with anyone apart from the UK government,” he said.

But Oriol Junqueras, the vice president of Catalonia, welcomed the First Minister's proposals.

He said: “The Scottish proposal shows that with political willingness everything is achievable.

“Europe will adapt itself to a ‘differential’ result for Scotland if this is requested by the British and the Scottish.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Government Brexit minister Mike Russell said: “The Scottish Government’s proposals are designed to protect Scotland from a hard Tory Brexit, which would be economically disastrous.

“We have been absolutely up front that implementing these proposals would not be straightforward but, as a range of experts have said, with the right political will it is possible.

“We have always said that it is for the UK government to negotiate Brexit with the EU, and that the UK Government needs to live up to its commitments to treat Scotland as an equal partner.”

Nicola Sturgeon has warned that another Scottish independence referendum would likely be called if her Brexit hopes are rebuffed.

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Brexit, Ireland and the case for Scottish independence
19 October 2018

Continued UK membership of the customs union would make post-independence negotiations between the UK and an independent Scotland simpler, but a hard Brexit could boost support for...

Theresa May warns Brexit talks are “at an impasse”
21 September 2018

Theresa May said: "I will not overturn the result of the referendum nor will I break up my country."

UK Government Brexit white paper ‘falls short’, Scottish Government says
12 July 2018

The paper sets out the UK Government’s proposals for a post-Brexit relationship with the EU, but the Scottish Government suggested it offered “little reassurance”

Cabinet ministers prepare to confront Theresa May on customs arrangements
23 April 2018

David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox expected to press the Prime Minister over reports Number 10 is preparing for the possibility of a customs union post-Brexit

Related Sponsored Articles

Share this page