Daily Management Review

This Week Single Market Brexit Plan to be Unveiled by Scotland


12/19/2016




This Week Single Market Brexit Plan to be Unveiled by Scotland
With the aim of avoiding the "national disaster" of a "hard Brexit", Scotland will publish proposals very soon for how it can remain in the European single market after Britain leaves the European Union, the Scottish government said very recently.
 
In order to kick off two years of exit talks, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal process of leaving the EU, would be triggered by the end of March by UK, British Prime Minister Theresa May has said.
 
However, businesses and investors fear Britain might seek a "hard Brexit" where controlling immigration takes priority over access to the European single market as her plans for those negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy.
 
Scotland had strongly backed its remaining in the bloc even though the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum.
 
The country's devolved nationalist government will put forward plans for remaining in the 500 million-consumer single market should that prove impossible and has said it wants to stay part of the EU when the rest of the UK leaves.
 
"In line with our commitments to explore all options to protect Scotland's interests, we will set out compromise proposals which, while not conferring the full benefits of EU membership, would mitigate the Brexit damage," said Michael Russell, the Scottish government's minister for EU negotiations.
 
"At the heart of our plan is a framework to keep Scotland's place in the European Single Market."
 
While a "hard Brexit" threatened 80,000 Scottish jobs over a decade, such a plan faced "complexities", Russell said.
 
"That would be a national disaster for Scotland," he said. "Brexit presents everyone with an unprecedented challenge, and with political goodwill on all sides and a willingness to cooperate, these proposals can effect a solution for Scotland."
 
The devolved parliament in Edinburgh would be handed over further "substantial" new powers after Brexit and out the outline of such a plan is also included in the plan.
 
However, in order to achieve a unified negotiating strategy for Brexit, which risks straining the centuries-old union between England and Scotland, May has promised to work with the devolved Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments.
 
While the ruling Scottish National Party has warned it might hold a second independence vote, the Scots rejected secession in a 2014 referendum.
 
"Our intention now is that these proposals can be discussed and agreed in a UK context and then form part of the UK government's overall negotiating position when Article 50 is triggered," Russell said.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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