Nicola Sturgeon has called on Theresa May to avoid the extreme Brexit scenarios and agree on a longer transition period.
The Scottish first minister expects that London will overcome the stalemate over the key issues in Brexit talks at a summit next week.
In an article for The Guardian, Nicola Sturgeon wrote that UK Prime Minister Theresa May should agree on a longer transition period and try to minimize the damage Brexit will cause.
“It appears that to get to phase two of the negotiations the Tories will have to accept everything they have wasted six months rejecting. The bill has to be paid, citizens’ rights have to be protected, and Ireland can no longer be ignored. These issues must be resolved, but making sufficient progress should not be seen as the end of the process – the talks over the future relationship matter just as much, if not more,” she wrote.
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The minister also stressed that the negotiations should stop taking into account only the interests of “appeasing Tory Brexiter backbenchers” and the economy should now come first.
According to Sturgeon, the preferred option would be to remain in the single market and customs union with the EU, even if this means accepting the jurisdiction of the European court of justice.
“To continue to put ideological totems before the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people would be to compound and accelerate the damage Brexit will do,” she warned.
Commenting further on the economy, Sturgeon wrote that even a trade deal with Washington would never replace the lost trade, jobs and investment caused by London’s withdrawal from the EU single market and the customs union.
“The prime minister needs to come away from the EU summit with a clear agreement to move into trade talks and a clear statement that transition will mean remaining in the single market and the customs union – nothing less,” Sturgeon wrote.