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by Tom Freeman and Kevin Schofield
05 April 2017
Scottish Labour MEP David Martin warns UK will 'cease to exist' if Theresa May ignores SNP Brexit plan

Scottish Labour MEP David Martin warns UK will 'cease to exist' if Theresa May ignores SNP Brexit plan

David Martin MEP - EP audiovisiual

A Scottish Labour MEP has warned the United Kingdom will break up unless Westminster gives ground on the Scottish Government's proposals for a bespoke Brexit deal for Scotland.

Speaking during the European Parliament debate on Brexit today, David Martin said Britain would "cease to exist" if Theresa May continues to push for a UK-wide "hard Brexit" deal.

He also urged the European Parliament to consider the Scottish Government's proposals for separate arrangements for Scotland on the single market and immigration.


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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused the UK Government of ignoring her negotiation document, 'Scotland's place in Europe', which outlines options for Scotland retaining access to the single market.

But Downing Street has repeatedly ruled out a special deal for Scotland, insisting that the UK will be leaving the EU as one country.

This has led to a formal request by the Scottish Parliament for the powers to hold a second independence referendum.

In his speech to MEPs, Martin called 'Scotland's place in Europe' "flexible and imaginative"

He said: "In September 2014 I voted to keep Scotland in the UK. In June 2016 I voted to keep the UK in the European Union. Today I face the reality that Brexit will remove my country from one union and leave the other hanging by a thread.

"Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Edinburgh - a city I have represented in this House for 33 years - voted 75 per cent to 25 per cent to remain.

"The feeling in Scotland is that we are being dragged out of Europe against our will - a feeling only compounded by Mrs May's determination to pursue a hard Brexit.

"The (European) Council document calls for flexible and imaginative solutions to be found for Ireland. I agree, but ask why not also for Scotland?

"The Scottish Government has put forward an imaginative and flexible solution for Scotland. It deserves serious consideration in this House.

"If the UK is not flexible in these talks, the UK will not only be leaving the European Union. The UK will cease to exist."

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