Nicola Sturgeon would negotiate direct with Brussels to keep Scotland in EU in event of Leave vote
Nicola Sturgeon - credit Scottish Government
Nicola Sturgeon would bypass the UK Government and negotiate directly with Brussels to keep Scotland in the EU if voters back Brexit next week.
She has also asked her staff to draw up plans for a second independence referendum in the event of an exit, which she has suggested could trigger another referendum if the majority of Scots vote in favour of remaining.
The First Minister told MSPs yesterday that officials were considering all paths available to keep Scotland in Europe.
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“If Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the European Union against our democratically expressed will, then all options to protect our relationship with Europe and the European Union will require to be considered,” she said.
The First Minister’s official spokesperson later confirmed to The Times that the Scottish Government would seek “political and diplomatic” routes to keep the country in the EU.
The paper reports that Sturgeon would look to secure Scotland’s membership while the rest of the UK left, so as to avoid dropping down the list of applicants to join the union.
Elsewhere, former leader Alex Salmond told The Times Sturgeon would negotiate directly with Brussels on the matter.
“I would expect the Scottish parliament to move quickly and, with the mandate given to it by the Scottish people, to negotiate its position within the EU and the single market which is vital for jobs and prosperity,” he said.
“Whatever chaos — political or constitutional — envelopes Westminster, I anticipate the First Minister will lead Scotland in that direction.”