Dream on, Nicola! Sturgeon issued warning over rejoining ‘ruthlessly hard-nosed’ EU

Nicola Sturgeon: Ashworth discusses ‘silly mistake’ by SNP leader

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If the SNP can secure a referendum it has made clear that one of the first acts of an independent Scotland would be to ask to rejoin the EU. But Lord Dunlop, a former Scottish Office minister, issued a warning to the Scottish Government following the UK Government’s experiences with the EU over renegotiating the Northern Ireland protocol.

Mr Dunlop said: “The UK Government’s experience should serve as a warning to Nicola Sturgeon and her hopes of securing favourable EU treatment for Scotland.”

Mr Dunlop, an adviser to David Cameron as well as being commissioned by Theresa May to undertake a key review into the future of the UK, also stressed the “EU wasn’t sentimental” when it came to negotiations stressing “it’s as ruthlessly hard-nosed as they come.”

He added: “No amount of embarrassingly needy SNP attention-seeking will change that.

“A quick and easy ride to rejoin the club? Dream on.”


Lord Dunlop, whose review into the future of the Union was recently published, also warned ministers in Edinburgh about their comments on the UK Government’s handling of Brexit.

Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson has said Scotland was “already suffering from the damaging economic impact of Brexit and being removed against our will from a market around seven times bigger than the UK.”

But the Tory peer claimed: “She [Nicola Sturgeon] inveighs against a UK Government that Scotland didn’t elect.

“She’s also fond of castigating UK ministers for not respecting democracy and for short-changing Scotland despite all evidence to the contrary.

“Wait till she discovers the probability Scotland – like Ireland – would be required to pay more into the EU’s budget than we would get back.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the EU should leave “a light on” for Scotland to be a future member if it became independent.

Ms Sturgeon told the first televised leaders’ debate in the lead-up to the Holyrood election of plans to use the next parliament to “get ourselves back into the European single market so that we can trade across Europe freely again, which of course is seven times the size of the UK market”.

She said that “being out of that single market, in addition to Covid is costing our exporters dearly”.

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But concerns have been raised by critics of Scottish independence who says Scotland rejoining the EU would result in a hard border with England.

Lord Dunlop said a hard border between an independent Scotland within the EU and the rest of the UK “would be inevitable.”

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.

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