Scotland could stay in single market and the UK post Brexit, says Scottish Secretary

Posted On: 
5th February 2017

It is “not impossible” that Scotland could stay within the single market under a differentiated Brexit deal to the rest of UK, David Mundell has said.

David Mundell said he is "open minded" about Scottish Government proposals
PA Images

The Scottish Secretary said he was “open-minded” about proposals, put forward by the SNP government, to remain members of the European single market while also staying in the UK as it leaves to the EU.

However, the Cabinet minister added that it would be "better" to proceed with Theresa May's plans of achieving a fresh arrangement with Europe for the whole United Kingdom.

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Holyrood ministers are pushing for a place in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) where, like Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, they may be able to stay part of the single market.

By continuing to partake in the EU’s Internal Market, such a deal would likely see Scotland remain subject to some Brussels legislation.

When asked on Sunday Politics Scotland whether he could see Scotland staying in the single market through membership of EFTA, Mr Mundell said: “It’s not impossible, but I believe that it is better to proceed on the basis that the Prime Minister’s set out of getting access to the single market for the whole of the United Kingdom with a free trade agreement.

“I don’t see the evidence to suggest that Scotland needs or would benefit from a differentiated agreement, but my mind is open and we’ve intensified discussions to look at that.”