First Minister unveils plans for Scotland's Brexit strategy
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined the Scottish Government’s proposals for Scotland’s Brexit settlement.
The Scottish Government says that 'Scotland’s Place in Europe' is the first detailed plan dealing with the implications of Brexit published by any government to mitigate the economic, social, democratic and cultural risk since the referendum in June.
The First Minister said the paper represents a "significant compromise" on the part of the Scottish Government which believes full membership of the EU is the best option for Scotland and the UK. Scotland’s Place in Europe aims to build as much consensus within Scotland as possible and to unify the country around a clear plan to protect our interests.
Scotland’s Place in Europe sets out:
- The Scottish Government’s position that the whole of the UK should remain in the Single Market.
- How Scotland could stay in the Single Market even if the rest of the UK chooses to leave. The paper addresses challenges and solutions: how continued membership of the Single Market could be achieved with Scotland still being part of the UK, the legislative and regulatory requirements and financial contributions.
- How free movement of goods, services and people would continue across the UK, even if Scotland is in the single market, and the rest of the UK is not. There are already a range of differential arrangements in operation within the EU and in relation to the Single Market and the European Customs Union. There is no reason 'flexible Brexit' – implied by the UK Government in relation to different sectors of the economy, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar – cannot be applied to Scotland.
- Why the Scottish Parliament needs additional powers to protect the rights that will no longer be underpinned by EU law. Areas of EU competence that are currently within the Scottish Parliament’s responsibility (such as fishing and agriculture) must remain so. Additional devolution should be considered of repatriated powers that are not currently devolved but which would enable the Scottish parliament to protect key rights (such as employment law), and of a broader range of powers to protect Scotland's interests and support a differentiated solution (such as power over immigration).