Nicola Sturgeon: Europe should ‘keep a light on’ as Scotland will be ‘back soon’

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icola Sturgeon has said Europe should “keep a light on” as Scotland will be “back soon”. Scotland’s trading and travel relationships with EU countries will now be governed by the agreement announced by the UK Government on Christmas Eve. Ms Sturgeon reiterated the SNP’s call for an independent Scotland to join the EU.

Tweeting a picture of the words Europe and Scotland attached by a loveheart, she said: “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.” The image had previously been projected on to the side of the EU Commission building in Brussels. 

Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell also said the separate Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar show independence is the “only alternative”, as the transition period ended. While Scotland has the same trade arrangements with the EU as England and Wales, there is a separate Northern Ireland Protocol to avoid a hard border with the Republic. Additionally, on December 31 it was announced that Gibraltar would be covered by a separate treaty.

In December 2016, the Scottish Government proposed keeping Scotland in the single market post-Brexit. Mr Russell tweeted on Thursday evening: “The NI & Gibraltar deals make clear that the 12/16 @ScotGov proposals could have produced a Scottish deal but were never pursued in EU negotiations by UK. “Consequently the UK has itself created the circumstances in which independence is the only alternative for Scotland.”

The Scottish Parliament earlier refused to give legislative consent for the Prime Minister’s Brexit agreement.

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MSPs voted by 92 to 30 to say the deal would “cause severe damage to Scotland’s environmental, economic and social interests”, following a debate on Wednesday. A Scottish Government report released earlier modelled that GDP would be 6.1 per cent lower by 2030 compared to remaining a member of the EU. However, the Conservatives accused the SNP of hypocrisy for refusing to back the Prime Minister’s deal when it had opposed a no-deal Brexit.

On Thursday, they said the Scottish Government had been spreading “propaganda” about the agreement on its official channels.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said he had written to civil service chiefs seeking an apology for the “bad deal for Scotland” video shared on social media.

Mr Ross said: “This video is a work of shameless propaganda and it’s incredible that a politically neutral civil service would think it is in any way appropriate.”

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