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First Minister on Article 50

Published: 29 Mar 2017 16:00

Commenting on today’s triggering of Article 50 by the Prime Minister, setting in course the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Today’s triggering of Article 50 represents a leap in the dark by the Prime Minister.

“Fully nine months after the EU referendum, the UK Government still cannot answer basic questions about what Brexit will mean for businesses, for the economy generally and for the type of society we live in.

“I wish the Prime Minister well in the negotiations which lie ahead, because a good Brexit deal for the UK is in Scotland’s interests.

“But the UK Government’s hard-line approach to Brexit is a reckless gamble, and it is clear, even at these very early stages, that the final deal is almost certain to be worse economically than the existing arrangements – and potentially much worse.

“Scotland voted decisively to remain part of Europe, but the UK Government only formally responded with a dismissal of our compromise proposals to keep Scotland in the Single Market at the same time as the Article 50 letter was sent.

“The next two years are hugely important and will determine the kind of country Scotland will become.

“The Prime Minister has today confirmed her aim is to reach a Brexit agreement covering a future relationship within two years.

“So the people of Scotland must have the final say on their own future once the terms of Brexit are clear.”