Downing Street hits back at Nicola Sturgeon over calls to stay in single market
Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House - Image credit: First Minister's Office
Downing Street has hit back at First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's claims that Brexit will be disastrous for Scotland, insisting that the UK is four times more important than the EU to the Scottish economy.
This follows the publication of a Scottish Government report, ‘Scotland's Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment’, which claimed leaving the European single market and customs union will cost Scotland £12.7bn a year.
According to the Scottish Government analysis, GDP north of the border would be 8.5 per cent lower by 2030 than if the UK had remained a full member of the EU.
At the launch of the report, the First Minister said: "For the sake of jobs, the economy and the next generation, today we are calling on the UK Government to drop its hard Brexit red lines so that Scotland and the UK can stay inside the single market and customs union."
But a spokesman for Theresa May hit back at the comments, insisting it was the UK economy which had the greatest impact on prosperity in Scotland.
He said: "The Prime Minister has made clear her commitment to getting a good deal which serves the interests of all parts of the United Kingdom and that we are confident of doing so.
“I'd also point out the vital importance that we protect the UK economy, which is worth around £48bn to Scotland, and that's four times as much as that of the EU.
“Also worth pointing out that the UK economy supports four times as many jobs compared to the EU.
"We are carrying out extensive preparations in relation to delivering Brexit and the will of the British people."