Joint Ministerial Committee

Time running out for PM to reach UK-wide agreement before Article 50 is triggered

The Prime Minister must be true to her word and act immediately to intensify work on the Scottish Government’ s proposals to remain in the European Single Market before Article 50 is triggered, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.


Following today’s Joint Ministerial Committee and a bilateral meeting between the First Minister and the Prime Minister in Cardiff, at which the Prime Minister committed to intensify joint work on Scotland’s proposals, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:


“I came here today prepared to go the extra mile and try to square the circle between the votes of people in Scotland to remain in the EU and the decision of the rest of the UK to leave.


“It is clear to me that all governments need to identify common ground, however it is also clear that so far it is only the Scottish Government – not the UK Government – that has made any effort at a compromise or to secure an agreement.


“I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment today to intensify joint work on the Scottish Government’s proposals to protect our place in Europe. However time is running out for the UK Government to step up if she is to be true to her word and we are to have any prospect of reaching the UK-wide agreement the Prime Minister committed to in July.


“It is also increasingly clear that Brexit must result in a fundamental reconsideration of where power lies in the UK.  It will not be sufficient to simply give back to Scotland the powers that are already ours, we must see a clear indication from the UK Government that there will be a major transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament once the UK leaves the EU.


“The UK Government must now show they are prepared to do more than just listen to the devolved governments and demonstrate how they will incorporate our positions – and represent our interests – in their plan to reach a UK-wide agreement.


“Time is now fast running out for the UK Government to show how it intends to respect Scotland’s interests. But if it becomes clear that we are headed off the cliff edge of a hard Brexit, and without the ability to avert that economically disastrous outcome, then the Prime Minister should be in no doubt that we intend to give the people of Scotland a choice over their future and on what kind of country we want to be.”


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