Nicola Sturgeon points out the obvious problem with Theresa May’s new Brexit plan

Brian Finlay

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]”:

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:

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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