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Opposition urge Sturgeon not to use Brexit to agitate for independence

Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to listen to concerns about HIE
Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to listen to concerns about HIE

The Scottish Government has been warned it risks imperilling the future of the UK with its proposal for a separate Brexit deal.

Nicola Sturgeon will today outline plans to keep Scotland in the EU’s single market, after 60% of Scots backed the Remain campaign.

However, fears have been raised that the SNP leader intends to use the vote and the Brexit negotiations process to agitate for a second referendum on independence.

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman, Adam Tomkins, said he wants the UK to be able to “trade freely” with the EU post-Brexit.

But he added: “We also want a deal that does nothing to imperil our own UK single market, which is four times as important to Scotland as the EU market.

“The SNP has been warned repeatedly in recent weeks that its plan for a separate Scottish deal – leading to a hard economic border with England – would damage Scotland and damage Scottish jobs.

“Yet it seems to be in complete denial about the consequences of its actions.”

Scottish Labour’s Europe spokesman, Lewis Macdonald, confirmed that his party was “very clear” it would “not support anything that puts Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom at risk”.

He added: “The SNP’s Brexit paper should accept that remaining in the UK is even more important to Scotland than being part of the European Union.

“Labour will oppose any attempts by the SNP to use Brexit as an excuse to force another independence referendum on the people of Scotland.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie, argued Ms Sturgeon had the opportunity to use her announcement to “heal the division” in Scotland.

He said: “Ever since the vote on June 23, the SNP have been using the vote to advance their desire for independence.

“Today, they have the opportunity heal the division in the country and not widen the divide with an independence option.”

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