03:09 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP)

    Scotland to Take Stand Against 'Hard Brexit' at Consultations With May

    © AFP 2019 / Andy Buchanan
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    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday said she planned to take a hard stance against Scotland joining UK Prime Minister Theresa May's "hard Brexit" strategy for leaving the European Union.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Both May and Sturgeon are attending a Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting in Cardiff on Monday. The meeting, which the prime minister is attending for the second time, focuses on coordination between London and the United Kingdom's devolved governments on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the issue of plans for conducting Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

    "A Tory government that Scotland overwhelmingly did not vote for is trying to force upon Scotland a Brexit vote which we overwhelmingly didn't vote for. The Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and they’ll get away with it. But I’ll be delivering a very clear message to Theresa May today – they can't," Sturgeon said in an article published by the Daily Record newspaper.

    The first minister reiterated fears that a "hard Brexit," which would mean the United Kingdom losing access to the EU single market, would significantly harm Scotland's economy, causing job losses and falling income. London could also cut taxes and scrap regulations, endangering social protection, the environment and workers' rights in an effort to compete with Europe, she added.

    May should also give a response on the Scottish government's paper detailing proposals for Scotland to remain in the EU single market, Sturgeon stressed. The paper was submitted in December and May promised to carefully look into the proposals.

    English voters mainly backed Brexit in the June 23 referendum, while voters in Scotland, Northern Ireland and London were pro-EU. Earlier this month, May outlined a 12-point Brexit plan, in which the prime minister stated that the United Kingdom's government was taking steps to ensure input from the country's devolved regional administrations.

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