Sturgeon calls for 'Northern Irish' model for Scotland after Brexit

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that Scotland should enjoy a "similar arrangement " with the European Union as Northern Ireland after Brexit, in her speech to the RSA in London.

The SNP leader also said that the UK government should delay Brexit to allow for more negotiation time to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

“If the last two years have shown us anything, it is surely that more time will inevitably be needed to agree the future relationship, and so being able to extend the transition period will be vital to avoid another cliff-edge scenario,” she said.

However opposition parties in Scotland branded her approach a "shambles" for calling for an arrangement that hadn't been agreed.

Currently the European Union insists that Northern Ireland would remain in the customs union, some sections of the single market and common VAT system, while the rest of the UK would stay outside.

Such an arrangement would mean a border in the Irish sea for Northern Ireland, but under the First Minister's proposals, another border would be created between England and Scotland.

In remarks during the SNP's national conference, the First Minister told reporters: "If we are looking down the road to a situation where Belfast is still in the single market, and Glasgow is not, then any responsible first minister of Scotland is going to say 'that's a big worry for us'."

"So it just underlines this notion that however it happens over the next few years, whether it's through a differential relationship with Scotland with the EU, or whether it's around Scotland looking again at becoming independent and securing its relationship with the single market that way, it will become very important for us to find a way of doing it."

Scottish Labour’s Brexit spokesman, Neil Findlay warned that Sturgeon "has put the SNP before Scotland’s national interest."

“Nicola Sturgeon now simultaneously supports four different Brexit solutions: a Scottish backstop, the whole of the UK in the single market and customs union, just Scotland remaining in both and independence. What an utter shambles."

“Our largest trading partner is the rest of the UK, but the First Minister is uninterested in protecting this because it does not suit her agenda."

“Nicola Sturgeon thinks losing Scottish jobs is a price worth paying. I don’t."

“Labour has always said that any Brexit deal must put jobs and the economy at its heart.”

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