Scotland calls for more talks following EU Exit delay

11 April 2019


Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has written to the Prime Minister following the extension of Article 50 calling for ongoing talks over EU exit to include the devolved administrations, and for any deal agreed by the UK Parliament to be put to a second referendum.


The First Minister reiterated that people in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU but have been ignored by the UK Government throughout the Brexit process, and said that must now change.  She stressed that it is essential that this additional time provided by the extension until the end of October 2019, is used constructively and is not wasted. In her letter to Teresa May she wrote:


“Notwithstanding the clear remain result in Scotland, the Scottish Government has sought to engage meaningfully on the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU and has called consistently for genuine efforts to reach consensus across party lines and with the devolved administrations. However, it is still not clear that even at this late stage and following the repeated defeat of your proposals that you are willing to drop your red lines which have restricted what can be achieved in the future relationship.


Your ongoing talks with the Leader of the Opposition should now broaden to include other parties, the devolved administrations, business and civic society, and open up the range of options on the table in an effort to reach a genuine consensus.


If such talks are to stand any chance of success you must be prepared to recognise in particular that it is essential for Scotland, at the very least, to stay inside the Single Market and continue to benefit from freedom of movement. 


Further, and more fundamentally, the Scottish Government considers that any deal agreed by the UK Parliament should be put to another referendum, with the alternative proposition on the ballot paper being to remain in the EU.


The extension to 31 October provides enough time to do this, and it is essential that no time is lost in making the necessary preparations.”


The full text of the letter can be read here.


The letter was also copied to the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford.