As the dust settles on the controversial resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis, the new Brexit plan has created just as much attention. Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 10 July to point out the obvious problem with Theresa May’s plan, agreed after the cabinet’s Chequers meeting.
Sturgeon stated that May’s new Brexit plan “still seems to be cherry picking, trying to divide the four freedoms [of the EU]”:
"I lead a country that did not vote to leave the EU."
"We will continue to stand up for the compromise that is right and continue to stand up for common sense." pic.twitter.com/478Zih5mSo
— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) July 10, 2018
The lack of consideration for services and the plan’s acceptability
Sturgeon went on to point out that the deal is in direct contradiction to the EU’s ‘four freedoms [pdf]‘. She said it was unlikely the EU would be able to accept it. The proposal, over two years in the making after the EU referendum, has only just been ‘agreed’ by the cabinet. Sturgeon suspects the EU will find the proposal unworkable. As a result, May’s government has wasted more negotiating time.
The first minister also highlighted that the Chequers plan does not include the trading of services, which is profoundly important to the Scottish economy. The best solution for Scotland, and indeed the whole UK, in Sturgeon’s opinion, would be to stay in the single market and the customs union. Sturgeon feels that it would be a compromise of the narrow vote to leave the EU. She believes this would help minimise the economic risk of the UK exiting the EU in just eight months’ time.
Sturgeon made Scotland’s wishes in relation to Brexit clear:
"I lead a country that did not vote to leave the EU." 🏴🇪🇺
"We will continue to stand up for the compromise that is right & continue to stand up for common sense."
.@NicolaSturgeon on @BBCr4today makes the case to remain in the Customs Union and Single market.
— Erik Geddes (@erikgeddes) July 10, 2018
Sturgeon has shown that May’s ideologically driven government has ‘agreed’ a Brexit plan that the EU can’t work with. May doesn’t have a mandate to damage the UK economy by taking it out of the single market and customs union.
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