Leader say Brexit shows Scotland must chart a new path | AP business

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2019

In an interview with Euronews' political editor Darren McCaffrey, Nicola Sturgeon said of the ten, "they're all, I think, pretty bad prospects".

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out her timetable for a second independence referendum by May 2021 on Wednesday (24 April), blaming Brexit chaos for having "exposed a deep democratic deficit at the heart of how Scotland is governed".

She said her government deeply regretted the UK's vote to leave the European Union and added: "We think the best option - for the United Kingdom, as well as for Scotland - would be to remain in the EU".

The SNP leader also said the Foreign Office had been "childish" for cutting off diplomatic support for the trip.

Writing in the Press and Journal, Campbell Gunn, who was also special advisor to Alex Salmond, said: "We're now in the midst of a Conservative leadership election with the victor automatically becoming prime minister". There are now 10 candidates in the running for the position.

"My engagements in Brussels are an opportunity to outline the Scottish government's support for those values and how they contribute to a better Scotland, Europe and wider world".

"The key to Scottish independence is a majority of people in Scotland confidently deciding that we should be an independent country", Sturgeon said.

During the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the European Union was not exactly neutral. "If the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union with no deal at the end of October, the primary responsibility lies with the Conservatives and those that advocated Brexit, but not far behind there will be Jeremy Corbyn, whose prevarication will have made it harder to avoid that outcome".

Sturgeon suggested there had been a "paradigm shift" in European Union attitudes, adding, "Many people. since the Brexit vote have a deepened understanding both of why Scotland might want to be independent and what the benefits of that would be".

It doesn't mean an independent Scotland could choose its own terms or avoid either an application process or hard choices over its border arrangements with England.

The first minister said that was "petty" but the United Kingdom insisted its effort and resources must be focussed on its own objectives.

Ms Sturgeon is making the visit without diplomatic support from the Foreign Office, which is customarily offered for trips overseas.

Hunt asked Scotland's devolved executive to run the visit itself because United Kingdom diplomats could not support "activities meant to campaign for policies contrary to (the British government's) position", a British government spokesman said.

"To Scots living across Europe, we want to protect your ability to live and work and study freely across Europe, just as we want to protect those from other European countries who live in Scotland", Sturgeon told EURACTIV. "We like the idea of independent nation states co-operating for the common good". "It's not making any real practical difference to my meetings here today, but I think it offers a bit of a window into what's going on in the Tory party right now".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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