World Bulletin / News Desk
“This is would mean a loss equivalent to £2,300 ($3,168) per year for each person in Scotland,” a new economic impact analysis claimed.
“The best way to protect the economy would be to remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union,” the report noted, echoing a statement of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
In a speech on Monday, Sturgeon said: “For the sake of jobs, the economy and the next generation, today we are calling on the U.K. government to drop its hard Brexit red-lines so that Scotland and the U.K. can stay inside the single market and customs union.”
“Scotland is particularly well-placed to take advantage of the developing and deepening single market -- the world’s biggest economy of 500 million people, eight times the size of the U.K.," she said.
Sturgeon argued that British Prime Minister Theresa May “wants to leave not only the political structures of the EU but come out of the European Economic Area shows just how extreme the U.K. government’s position is.”
“With just weeks to go before the opening of talks on the future relationship that extreme stance must be dropped,” she warned.
The second phase of Brexit negotiations, which will shape the future trade relations between the U.K. and the bloc will begin in March.
Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019 but the sides have agreed on principle to introduce a transition period expected to last around 2 years.
Last year, Sturgeon had underlined in her Scottish National Party (SNP) manifesto that the Europe’s single market is far too important to Scotland’s economy to lose and Scotland “must have a choice” when the details of a final deal with the EU is clear in 2018.
She had reiterated her party’s view on a second independence vote, saying the country must have a choice at the end of Brexit negotiations with the EU, signaling a new referendum on Scottish independence.
A majority of Scottish voters (62 percent) opted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, which began the end of the U.K.'s membership in the union after 44 years.