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    Scotland Set to Ensure Access to European Single Market After Brexit – Minister

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    Scotland intends to secure its place in the European single market as it favors a flexible deal to hard Brexit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Monday, Sturgeon is holding talks on Brexit with UK Prime Minister Theresa May along with her Welsh and Norther Irish counterparts Carwyn Jones and Arlene Foster.

    "Scotland — which voted overwhelmingly to remain in Europe — must be able to secure a continuing close relationship with Europe, including membership of the single market," the minister said, as quoted by the Financial Times newspaper.

    According to the newspaper, May is expected to reject during the meeting any bid for a special treatment for devolved administrations, as no final decision on the United Kingdom’s EU exit strategy has been made. The UK authorities are also expected to block Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales from being directly involved in the Brexit negotiations.

    On October 21, European leaders, including French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the United Kingdom at the European Council summit in Brussels that the Brexit talks would be "rough" if May wanted a hard Brexit.

    A hard Brexit would deprive the country of the access to the EU internal market and the customs union, which could potentially result in tariff and non-tariff restrictions.

    On June 23, Brits voted to leave the European Union by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent. The formal procedure is expected to end in 2019.


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