Nicola Sturgeon to negotiate with Brussels to keep Scotland’s EU membership after Brexit
Nicola Sturgeon would bypass the British government and negotiate directly with Brussels to keep Scotland in the EU should voters back Brexit next week.
The SNP leader has also asked her staff to draw up plans for a second independence referendum in the event of an exit, which she has suggested could trigger another vote if the majority of Scots back remaining in the bloc.
Yesterday Ms Sturgeon told MSPs officials were considering all paths available to keep Scotland in Europe.
“If Scotland faces the prospect of being taken out of the European Union against our democratically expressed will, then all options to protect our relationship with Europe and the European Union will require to be considered,” she said.
The Scottish First Minister’s official spokesman later confirmed to The Times that the Scottish Government would seek “political and diplomatic” routes to keep the country in the EU.
The paper reports that Ms Sturgeon would look to secure Scotland’s membership while the rest of the UK left, so as to avoid dropping down the list of applicants to join the bloc.
Elsewhere, former leader Alex Salmond told The Times Ms Sturgeon would negotiate directly with Brussels on the matter.
“I would expect the Scottish parliament to move quickly and, with the mandate given to it by the Scottish people, to negotiate its position within the EU and the single market which is vital for jobs and prosperity,” he said.
“Whatever chaos — political or constitutional — envelopes Westminster, I anticipate the First Minister will lead Scotland in that direction.”
The EU referendum will take place on 23 June.