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Strong support for single market

Published: 26 Oct 2016 00:01
Part of:
Economy

First Minister urges all-Scotland coalition

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today say the Scottish Government will work constructively to build an all-Scotland coalition to protect the country's place in the European Single Market.

The First Minister will open the annual National Economic Forum in Edinburgh later today (Wednesday, 26 October), which will discuss the impact of Brexit on Scottish businesses.

She will set out to 150 business and public sector leaders the Scottish Government's next steps to protect the economy in the face of an impending UK exit from the European Union.

The First Minister is expected to say:

"Creating jobs, expanding the economy and growing tax revenues – these priorities are at the centre of everything we do.

"But economists have estimated a hard Brexit will cost Scotland 80,000 jobs within a decade.

"I believe a coalition can be built to keep the UK as a whole in the Single Market. That outcome is in the best interests of everyone in these islands. So we will work with other organisations and parties, not just in Scotland but across the UK, to achieve that outcome.

"And in Scotland, regardless of the positions people take on the constitutional future of Scotland, on this central issue of Single Market membership there is widespread agreement. Rarely has there been such unity on an issue.

"So today let's resolve to present to the UK Government a unified Scottish position: an all-Scotland coalition of support for the Single Market. An all-Scotland coalition – of politicians, business, universities and others – to resist a hard Brexit.

"We will work constructively with all relevant parties to achieve the goal of retaining our place in Europe and Single Market membership."