On Tuesday the Scottish government will examine various proposals on how it can remain within the EU. These proposals could potentially deliver a body blow to the UK’s posturing of a united front.
In the coming week, Scotland is set to publish proposals on how it can remain within the European Union once Britain leaves the single market bloc.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has stated she will invoke Article 50 of EU-Lisbon Treaty, and kickstart the process of the country leaving EU before the end of March 2017.
With the British government not disclosing basic tenets of their exit strategy, investors and businesses are fearing that the country might opt for a “hard Brexit” with immigration policies taking priority over access to EU’s lucrative single bloc market.
Although as a whole the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU during the June 23 2016 referendum, Scotland has strongly backed remaining in the EU with the country’s devolved nationalist government saying it wants to remain within the EU even if Britain departs.
This coming Tuesday, Scotland will put forward plans for how it can do so.
“In line with our commitments to explore all options to protect Scotland’s interests, we will set out compromise proposals which, while not conferring the full benefits of EU membership, would mitigate the Brexit damage,” said Michael Russell, the Scottish government’s minister for EU negotiations.
“At the heart of our plan is a framework to keep Scotland’s place in the European Single Market.”
Although such plans have to mitigate considerable complexities however they are still better than the alternative of a “hard Brexit” since that would threaten 80,000 Scottish jobs spread over a decade.
“That would be a national disaster for Scotland. Brexit presents everyone with an unprecedented challenge, and with political goodwill on all sides and a willingness to cooperate, these proposals can effect a solution for Scotland,” said Russell.
The upcoming plans will also include and outline “substantial” new powers that should be handed to the devolved parliament in Edinburgh after Brexit.
In a strategic move designed to show consistency across the UK, May has promised to work with the devolved Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments and showcase a unified strategy for Brexit.
However doing so risks straining centuries old ties between Scotland and England.
Scotland has warned it may hold a second independence vote.
“Our intention now is that these proposals can be discussed and agreed in a UK context and then form part of the UK government’s overall negotiating position when Article 50 is triggered,” said Russell.