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Scottish Government has no “red lines” in its Brexit demands

Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell
Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell

The Scottish Government does not have any “red lines” in its Brexit demands, Mike Russell has claimed.

As the SNP’s Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, the Argyll and Bute MSP is in charge of trying to make his party’s views heard with the UK Government.

Despite publishing a policy document which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already described as a “compromise”, Mr Russell insists the key issue “not all the detail… it is the objective”.

The Scottish Government has argued the UK should remain a member of the European single market through joining the European Economic Area and, if that is rejected by Conservative ministers, then Scotland should be allowed to take up such a position on an associate basis.

The ideas have been rejected as impossible in some quarters but Mr Russell said he is willing to compromise further to achieve the overall aims.

He said: “It’s important if you have got objectives to work out how you’re going to achieve them but the objectives are as important as anything else.

“I don’t use red line and neither does Nicola and neither of us will because that is not where we are, that’s not helpful, but we indicate the damage that will be done to Scotland by leaving the single market is considerable. We lay it out and essentially the further you are from the current situation the more the damage will be.”

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