Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland's future lies as 'independent EU nation' after trade deal
Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland's future lies as an "independent, European nation" after a Brexit trade was struck between the UK and EU.
The Scottish First Minister warned that the Christmas Eve deal on free trade, after the Brexit transition ends at the start of next year, will not make up what is being lost through Scotland's EU departure.
Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie backed the First Minister’s statement on rejoining the EU, while Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the 11th hour deal had left Scotland's economy on a "cliff edge."
Ms Sturgeon is demanding the right to stage a second referendum on Scottish independence after almost two-thirds of Scots voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum - but the weight of votes south of the border swung the outcome in favour of Leave.
And after today's trade deal was announced, she tweeted: "Before the spin starts, it's worth remembering that Brexit is happening against Scotland's will.
"And there is no deal that will ever make up for what Brexit takes away from us.
"It's time to chart our own future as an independent, European nation."
Mr Harvie said Scotland was only “briefly” leaving the EU and would rejoin the EU after independence.
“The country is being given a take-it-or-leave-it deal, but we won't be able to debate the detail, and the one thing we know is that the cost of Brexit remains high,” he said of the deal which was agreed today.
" As well as the financial hit, the legacy of the UK Government’s reckless approach will live on, in the broken relationships with European partners, in the lowering of worker’s rights, standards and protections, and in the hearts of people in Northern Ireland and Scotland, who are badly let down by a Brexit they didn’t vote for.“In the long run, I believe we will look back on this as a period of extraordinarily incompetent government from the UK, but ultimately as only a brief interruption in Scotland's place in Europe. We will take our future into our own hands, and we will re-join.”
Mr Leonard also welcomed the deal but hit out at the Uk Prime Minister's handling of the process.
“Scottish Labour has called for an extension to the Brexit process, in light of the escalation of the Covid crisis so that we avoid the economic shock we will now face," he said.
"While it's better that a no deal exit has been averted, Boris Johnson's irresponsible brinksmanship and his gross mismanagement of this process from start to finish has caused huge economic uncertainty.
“Against the backdrop of Covid, the worst crisis the UK has faced since the Second World War, the Tories have left workers and businesses on the cliff edge of a disastrous 'No Deal' by leaving it to the 11th hour to secure a deal.
"We must now look at the detail of the deal, and move on with a plan to protect jobs, incomes and our public services in Scotland, as we face a pandemic-driven recession."
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