- Title: Resigned to Brexit, Scots push case for staying in single market
- Date: 22nd January 2018
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (JANUARY 22, 2018) (REUTERS) SCOTTISH CABINET SECRETARY FOR CULTURE, TOURISM AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS FIONA HYSLOP BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH CABINET SECRETARY FOR CULTURE, TOURISM AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, FIONA HYSLOP, SAYING: "Well, we've got to be realistic here: the UK seemed to be adamant that they want to leave. We think that continued membership of the EU is what's in the best interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK, but I think perhaps it's overly optimistic to think that that would happen. It's very important that we deal with the situation that stands before us but we're very conscious that at the end of the day it will be the Westminster parliament and the European Parliament that will have the final say in relation to what the UK government and the EU 27 through the Commission has managed to negotiate." HYSLOP BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH CABINET SECRETARY FOR CULTURE, TOURISM AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, FIONA HYSLOP, SAYING: "We have evidence that trading under WTO rules in relation to the Scottish economy would see an 8.5% loss in GDP. That's very hard indeed and we also want to recognise that the future deepening of the relationship of the EU itself, and the single market of digital services - energy and other services - would actually be an economic loss to Scotland. So we've got a very strong evidence base that should the UK choose to leave the EU, which it is, that the least worst option would be continued membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union." HYSLOP'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH CABINET SECRETARY FOR CULTURE, TOURISM AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, FIONA HYSLOP, SAYING: "Politics is always very volatile, and we need to be looking for opportunities to take things forward. We want to ensure that Scotland's place is protected whatever the scenario transpires, and that's what my responsibility is." HYSLOP SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH CABINET SECRETARY FOR CULTURE, TOURISM AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, FIONA HYSLOP, SAYING: "But we reserve our position to make sure the people of Scotland have a choice, because leaving the EU will have an absolutely potentially catastrophic impact on the economy of Scotland." HYSLOP SPEAKING TO INTERVIEWER
- Embargoed: 5th February 2018 18:15
- Keywords: Scottish Nationalist Party Brexit European Union Single Market Membership Customs Union Scottish economy
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0017Z73HVR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Scotland's government thinks campaigns to halt Brexit have little chance but believes it can persuade British negotiators to try to stay in the European Union's single market, a senior Scottish minister said on Monday (January 22).
Speaking to Reuters during a two-day visit to Brussels to sound out EU diplomats and lawmakers on Britain's upcoming talks on post-Brexit relations with the bloc, Fiona Hyslop, the devolved Scottish government external affairs minister, said it would be "overly optimistic" to think that continued membership to the EU was still possible.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted that the whole United Kingdom will leave the single market and a customs union when it leaves the European Union in March next year, although little would change in practice for another two years.
May is expected to offer more details next month on what her government wants in a future relationship. London has indicated it sees a broad free trade agreement, closer than a recent EU deal with Canada. But the pro-independence Scottish government says that would leave Scotland's economy 6.1-percent smaller than it would be in 2030 if it had stayed in the EU.
Noting that a Scottish government study last week showed that even staying in the single market would cost the economy 2.7 percentage points of GDP, Hyslop said it was the "least worst option". The goal was now to persuade May to seek that outcome before she finalises her negotiating position.
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