Scotland needs choice on independence at end of Brexit: Sturgeon

Owen Stevens
May 16, 2017

Tory Colin Clark was more than 20,000 votes behind Salmond in third, and while his party have done well in recent elections, it would require a spectacular collapse in the SNP vote for him to win.

Her office sent an email marked "restricted" on July 11, 2013 to three of her ministerial colleagues, the Lord Advocate, the Scottish Government's permanent secretary and the mandarins of two Scottish Government departments.

Highlighting the section on Efta, it said: "The only real mention of other European organisations and non-EU states is in the section discussing (and dismissing) alternatives to EU membership".

The First Minister also defended her decision to pursue a second independence referendum earlier this and said students concerned about independence should still vote for the SNP.

"Voters in Scotland and across the United Kingdom have the chance on June 8 to tell Nicola Sturgeon to stop obsessing about independence and get on with the job of fixing the mess she has made of our schools".

Pressed by Mr Marr on whether that meant being in Efta first then the European Union later, she replied: "It may be by necessity, but we didn't want that".

He added: "I spoke to the chief economic adviser to Nicola Sturgeon the other week and he said "James I know but its politics, economics doesn't matter; it's all about the politics".

Continuing, Ms Sturgeon said, "Whether it's on Brexit, or the future of austerity in public services, we need to make sure there are MPs who will be a loud voice for Scotland and make sure our interests are to the fore".

"Now it may be that we have a phased approach", she added, confirming that Scotland may have to consider EFTA membership first "by necessity".

Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative leader, said Sturgeon was playing political games with the electorate.

Likening Mrs Sturgeon to Mary Queen of Scots, Marr pushed the pro-EU politician into admitting the SNP had not delivered on some of its key policy pledges, such as the Scottish education system.

In response, Mike Weir, SNP candidate for re-election as an MP for Angus, said: "The position of the Conservatives is one of breath-taking hypocrisy". The First Minister has been playing "me and my shadow".

"There can be no doubt that the Tories at Westminster would use a bigger majority at this election to make ordinary families bear an even greater burden of needless austerity".

"One thing we are learning in this campaign is that Scotland is leading the United Kingdom in the delivery of many crucial policies, but it's absolutely vital that Scotland is not dragged back by the Tories and their austerity agenda".

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