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Nicola Sturgeon urges voters to give her sway in Brexit negotiations

Nicola Sturgeon urges voters to give her sway in Brexit negotiations

Scotland must have a choice on independence at the end of Britain's divorce with the European Union when the exit terms are clear, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday.

Senior EU figures have said Scotland would not be able to inherit the UK's membership and would have to join a lost of five "candidate" countries - Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Continuing, Ms Sturgeon said, "Whether it's on Brexit, or the future of austerity in public services, we need to make sure there are MPs who will be a loud voice for Scotland and make sure our interests are to the fore". "We have to set that out at the time, because there are still some uncertainties, many uncertainties, around the Brexit process", Sturgeon said.

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said: "The SNP knows its chaotic approach on issues like currency helped Scots reach the conclusion we are better off part of the UK".

"Now, in a cynical attempt to win back Leave voters who have deserted the SNP, she now refuses to say whether an independent Scotland would go back in".

The First Minister's proposals to keep Scotland in the single market after Brexit were rejected out of hand by the UK Government in December but Ms Sturgeon believes victory at the polls will give a mandate to her plans.

We haven't got everything right and there is much more work still to do - work to grow our economy, get more people into employment and drive up standards in our schools even further.




Ms Sturgeon will say it is the SNP, not Labour, that is leading the United Kingdom in implementing "progressive" policies.

In her reference to Scotland "regaining" membership, Sturgeon confirmed previous hints she accepts she may have to retreat from her preferred timescale of staging a referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, before Brexit takes place.

Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said Ms Sturgeon's position on Europe had "descended into complete chaos".

She denied Scottish education as a whole is going backwards, adding: "On literacy and numeracy we have a particular challenge but on many other measures of Scottish education that is just not true".

The Scottish Government want a second vote held on the independence question between autumn next year and spring 2019.

The politician said her party had been advocates for regionalising fishing policy and for taking a fresh look at the EU's "open to all" approach to fishing waters. "And her flirtation with Efta would leave us with all the obligations but no voice in decision-making".

Ms Sturgeon claimed Labour's manifesto "directly lifts policies that the SNP is already delivering" including free university tuition, ending hospital parking charges, and the abolition of the so-called bedroom tax.


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