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by Tom Freeman
14 February 2019
Scottish Government ‘stepping up no-deal Brexit preparation’

Nicola Sturgeon - Scottish Government

Scottish Government ‘stepping up no-deal Brexit preparation’

The Scottish Government is stepping up its preparations for the UK leaving the European union without a deal in place, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March, and Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to push through a deal already rejected twice by MPs.

May has dismissed reports she may ask for an extension to the leave date to prevent an exit without a deal, which would see UK imports and exports default to costly WTO tariffs.

Agreements over aerospace, medicines and the Irish border would also be ripped up in the scenario.

Sturgeon chaired a meeting of the Scottish cabinet in Glasgow last night.

Speaking afterwards, she told the BBC that the UK Government was “reckless and negligent” for refusing to rule out a no-deal scenario.

“But we appear to be dealing with a UK government that's prepared to act recklessly and negligently,” she added.

“Therefore as of today we have stepped up our no-deal planning. We don't think it should be inevitable, we'll do everything in our power to help rule that out.

“But we would not be doing our job properly if we didn't properly plan as best we can, because not all of the consequences will be able to be mitigated.”

Sturgeon has said she will announce a timescale for a second independence referendum within weeks, but told reporters last night she wouldn’t put “a precise timescale” on it.

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