Nicola Sturgeon calls for 'special' Brexit deals

Nicola Sturgeon calls for 'special' Brexit deals
From BBC - December 4, 2017

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there is "no good reason" why Scotland should not get a similar Brexit deal to Northern Ireland.

It has been suggested that the UK might be prepared to accept that NI effectively remain in the EU single market after Brexit.

Talks between UK and EU leaders have not yet resulted in an agreement.

Theresa May said "differences" remained between the two sides but said she was "confident" a deal could be struck.

Amid speculation that Northern Ireland could be given a special deal, Ms Sturgeon questioned why other parts of the UK should not - a position echoed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Mr Khan said such a move would have "huge ramifications", while Mr Jones said different parts of the UK could not be treated "more favourably" than others.

Mrs May is meeting European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk, in the hope of coming to an agreement on the first phase of Brexit talks ahead of a summit in ten days' time.

There have been reports that Northern Ireland could retain "regulatory alignment" with the EU - although the final wording of any potential deal has not yet been confirmed.

Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts told BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg that the UK had made a concession over the Irish border, saying ministers were prepared to accept that Northern Ireland remain in the single market and customs union in all but name.

However Downing Street sources have sounded a note of caution, suggesting there are "still moving parts" over the deal.

Ms Sturgeon posted on Twitter: "If one part of the UK can retain regulatory alignment with the EU and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland), there is surely no good practical reason why others ca not."

She later told the BBC she wanted to see an outcome "that's right for Ireland", but said Scotland would be "doubly disadvantaged" if NI was allowed to effectively stay in the single market and Scotland was not.

She said: "The UK government appears to be accepting that parts of the UK can effectively stay within the single market. If that's good enough and possible enough for Northern Ireland, there's no reason why it ca not be the case for Scotland."

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