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First Minister Sturgeon: Brexit deal will decide second referendum on Scottish independence

First Minister Sturgeon: Brexit deal will decide second referendum on Scottish independence

However, Sturgeon was much less forceful about the option she championed past year that Scotland should have a differentiated trade deal with the European Union after Brexit, preferably by remaining in the single market even if the rest of the United Kingdom did not.

This compares to a 6.1 percent (9.0 billion) fall if a free trade accord is signed with the bloc, and 2.7 percent (4.0 billion) drop if the United Kingdom joins the European Economic Area and therefore stays part of the single market.

Hard Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon warned of the dangers of a no deal European Union exit (file pic).

In its independence referendum in 2014 people voted against becoming an independent country by 55% to 45%.

Her comments come ahead of the publication of a Scottish government assessment on the impact of Brexit.

The Scottish government concludes that if the United Kingdom was to pursue a WTO relationship, the cost to Scotland would be about 8.5% of GDP.

Nicola Sturgeon has accused Theresa May of a "dereliction of duty" in failing to disclose the full economic impact of Brexit.

Sturgeon said the research will detail how remaining in the European single market and the customs union would be the least damaging option for the United Kingdom economy.

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The options analysed are staying in the single market and customs union, a trade agreement between both parties or reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms if no Brexit deal is agreed.

He said "sectoral analysis" of different industries had been drawn up, but not a "forecast" of what would happen after Brexit.

However, authoritative opinion polling published by the National Centre for Social Research showed that this was unpopular among Scottish voters, with 67% believing Scotland should have the same trade rules as the rest of the UK.

"Of course, there is no alternative arrangement that can deliver the jobs, people and economic benefit that come from remaining members of the European Union but if the United Kingdom continues down the path of leaving the EU, it is the Prime Minister's duty to do as little harm as possible to the economy".

"With just weeks to go before the opening of talks on the future relationship that extreme stance must be dropped".

They include the impact of Scotland remaining within the single market and customs union, or the United Kingdom securing a free trade agreement.

Despite Corbyn's resistance to pressing for single market membership, for instance by joining the European Economic Area of which Norway is a member, she said there was an increasingly powerful coalition at Westminster in favour of single market membership.


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