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Sturgeon brands May’s Brexit statement as ‘dreadful’

Prime Minister said it was up to European leaders to shift their stance to reach deal.

PA

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has branded a statement by Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit as “dreadful”.

May called on the EU to come forward with fresh proposals on Northern Ireland and trade, warning that without a move from Brussels it will not be possible to make further progress in Brexit talks.

She dismissed EU suggestions that the onus is on Britain to shift its stance, insisting that the ball is now in the European Union’s court.

Sturgeon branded the Chequers proposals – May’s plans for a deal with the EU – a “dead duck”.

She said while the views of European leaders on the plan had been “bluntly expressed” at the Salzburg summit, they were “not new”.

However she claimed Mrs May “just hasn’t been listening”.

The First Minister said on Twitter: “If her tactic now is to double down on the Chequers dead duck, and then blame EU for a no deal, she will do huge damage to all those she is supposed to serve.”

The SNP leader again insisted the “only remotely workable way to do Brexit is to stay in the single market and customs union”.

She added: “If PM not prepared to do that, Brexit shouldn’t happen. ‘No deal’ or ‘no detail’ Brexit simply not acceptable – especially for Scotland, where we did not vote for this.”

When Number 10 announced a statement from the Prime Minister this afternoon there was a flurry of excitement.

After the other 27 EU leaders rejected Theresa May’s Chequers trade plan, was she going to resign, or call a General Election? Not a chance – she was digging in.

It was clear from the start she was angry. She said talks were at an “impasse”. She complained the UK had treated the EU with respect and the UK expects the same; she attacked them for rejecting her Chequers plan without offering a detailed explanation why or any alternatives.

She warned the UK can’t make progress until the EU do and she is preparing for no deal.

The biggest sticking point, as it has been for some time, is the Northern Ireland border. She promised not to overturn the EU Referendum result or “break up” her country.

She did give a guarantee to EU citizens, protecting their status and suggested there could be some movement on regulations at the Irish border, if Stormont agreed.

It’s over a year since Stormont last met and the DUP won’t want to give any ground on the border at all, and their ten MPs prop up the minority Conservative government.

So no election, no resignation, no change, leaving us facing no deal. After humiliation in Austria this was about the Prime Minister looking tough ahead of a tough Tory conference next weekend.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.


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