Skip to main content

EU delay on Brexit trade deal hits Sturgeon's referendum timetable



Nicola Sturgeon’s proposals for a vote on Scottish independence within weeks of a Brexit deal have been thrown into doubt by the EU’s decision to delay a trade deal.


The first minister has insisted Scotland must be given a vote on staying in the UK or independence after the terms of Brexit and once the terms of the UK’s new free trade deal with the EU are clear and agreed by both sides.

Sturgeon wrote to the prime minister, Theresa May, on Friday formally requesting talks on setting up that referendum after the Scottish parliament endorsed her call for a vote between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

She cited that vote and May’s indication in their private talks on Monday that the prime minister wanted the trade and Brexit deals finalised by March 2019. 

Sturgeon told May in her letter there was “no rational case” for rejecting referendum talks before then.

But the EU’s negotiation guidelines, published by European council president Donald Tusk on Friday morning, have rejected that timetable. 

It states that a final trade deal can only be negotiated and concluded after the UK has left the EU.

It also warns both sides will need transitional and “bridging” arrangements where EU regulations would still have to apply to the UK before the trade deal will be signed, implying it could take considerably longer to complete those talks.

In a blow to both May and Sturgeon, the EU said initial talks to agree an overall framework for that trade deal would start only in the final stages of the Brexit negotiations. 

It stated: “Based on the union’s interests, the European council stands ready to initiate work towards such an agreement, to be finalised and concluded once the United Kingdom is no longer a member state.”

Sturgeon’s letter to May was issued several hours after Tusk published the EU’s guidelines, and in contrast to her combative speech earlier this month demanding the referendum powers, her letter to signaled she was prepared to relax her deadline.

Sturgeon told May she would delay staging it if the Brexit timetable slipped or if more time was needed to make the terms of Brexit clear. 

“If the timetable you have set out changes, we will require to consider the implications for the timing of a referendum,” Sturgeon wrote. 

“However, it seems reasonable at this stage to work on the basis of your stated timetable.

“We are also in agreement that – unlike the EU referendum – the choice must be an informed one. 

That means that both the terms of Brexit and the implications and opportunities of independence must be clear in advance of the referendum.”

Sturgeon insisted the Scottish government would play “a full and constructive role in securing” the best possible Brexit deal for the UK, even though Scottish voters did not vote last June to leave the EU.

That risked contradicting warnings from her spokesman on Thursday that Sturgeon could refuse to support the Brexit legislation if she believed Westminster was failing to pass on the right EU powers to Holyrood.

Despite offering to delay the vote if necessary, Sturgeon insisted that talks on passing those powers to Scotland under a so-called section 30 order should start as soon as possible. 

It should be “a relatively straightforward process” given both governments had gone through it five years ago to set up the 2014 referendum.

Citing the Holyrood vote on Tuesday and her manifesto pledge to stage a referendum if the UK left the EU against Scotland’s will, Sturgeon told May she now had a clear mandate to pursue a referendum based on Scottish traditions of “popular sovereignty”.

Downing Street confirmed May would not agree to those talks before Brexit. 

It would be unfair to the people of Scotland to ask them to make a crucial decision without the necessary information about our future relationship with Europe, or what an independent Scotland would look like,” a spokesman said.

Predicting May would again refuse to agree, Sturgeon warned she would set out a new strategy to secure that referendum after the Easter holidays – despite the UK government’s opposition. 

“It is my firm view that the mandate of the Scottish parliament must be respected and progressed. 

The question is not if, but how,” Sturgeon wrote.

However, repeated opinion polls show only about 35% of voters agree with her claim a referendum before Brexit is necessary. 

Support for independence is static at about 45%, with some polls suggesting it is nearer 50%.

In a short video broadcast on the Scottish government’s Twitter feed, the first minister took a conciliatory tone by urging yes and no voters to agree there was a clear moral case for the referendum powers to be handed to Holyrood, even if they did not back independence.

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said Sturgeon’s quest for the referendum would dismay voters and was not based on popular sovereignty. 

“There is absolutely no evidence that another divisive referendum is the will of the people of Scotland,” she said.


“Holding another referendum on leaving the UK is the wrong thing to do for Scotland’s economy, especially when there is so much economic uncertainty from the Tories’ reckless plans for a hard Brexit.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Iran Killing Command: The use of firearms in dealing with protesters

The document you see on the image is the order of the commander of the Tehran repressive force to all the units based in the city.

Based on this agenda, the mercenaries of the corrupt government Islamic Republic of Iran have been allowed to use firearms in the event of any protest movement against people by the regime.
This is a murder command.
The repressive force of the law, known to the world's famous police and guardians, should protect the lives of its citizens, by freeing their mercenaries, they allow them to murder Iranians who are protesting the corruption in the government and you have the important message that if you come to the streets in protest of corruption and torture and massacre, we will kill you.
Because, according to criminal Khomeini, maintenance of the system is obligatory.
A corrupt government that is so hideous that spend billions of dollars from the national treasury and popular capitalto the suppression of its people and the countries of the region, must be ov…

Armenian protesters block traffic, railways & airport as protest leader loses PM bid

Anti-government protesters disrupted traffic in Armenia’s capital, blocking railways and roads leading to Yerevan International Airport, after the parliament voted against opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid for interim PM.
Protesters managed to block streets connecting downtown Yerevan to residential districts, disrupting transportation in Armenia’s capital, footage from the scene shows. 
Yerevan’s metro system has also been paralyzed as demonstrators sit on the tracks, preventing trains from passing.
Meanwhile, protesters disrupted traffic on a road leading to Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, located just 12km from the center of the city. 
Consequently, some passengers had to go the rest of the way on foot in order to catch their flights, according to Sputnik news agency.
Railway services have also been disrupted all across the country amid the demonstrations, a spokesman for South Caucasus Railways confirmed to Interfax. 
Some other highways, including the one connecting th…

ایران فرمان قتل : دستور استفاده از سلاح گرم در برخورد با معترضان

سندی که در تصویر میبینید دستور فرمانده نیروی سرکوبگر انتظامی تهران به همه یگانهای مستقر در این شهر است.
بر اساس این دستور کار ، مزدوران حکومت فاسد نظام جمهوری اسلامی اجازه یافته اند که درصورت بروز هرگونه جنبش اعتراضی از سوی مردم علیه رژیم ، از سلاح گرم استفاده کنند.
این دستور یک فرمان قتل است.
نیروی سرکوبگر انتظامی که به ظاهر و تعریف شناخته شده پلیس در سراسر جهان ، میبایست حافظ جان شهروندان باشد ، با آزاد گذاشتن دست مزدوران چکمه پوش خود انها را مجاز به قتل ایرانیان معترض به فسادهای موجود درلایه های حکومت میکنند و این پیام مهم را در خود دارد که اگر در اعتراض به  فساد و شکنجه و کشتار به خیابانها بریزید شما را خواهیم کشت.
چرا که به گفته خمینی دجال، حفظ نظام از اوجب واجبات است.
حکومت فاسدی که انقدر وقیح هست که میلیاردها دلار از خزانه ملی و سرمایه مردمی را صرف سرکوب مردم خود و کشورهای منطقه میکند باید سرنگون کرد.
اکنون چهل سال است که کشور ما به اشغال این ملایان جنایکتارخونخوار و اسلام تحمیلی در آمده است .
هنوز باورش برای برخی سخت است که درک کنند کشور ما به معنای واقعی کلمه از سوی بنیادگرایان الله…