NICOLA Sturgeon has lashed out at the “completely unnecessary” hard-line Brexit position adopted by Boris Johnson and his Tory government.
The news comes after the Prime Minister announced that the UK must “get ready” for a No-Deal Brexit this December.
A Downing Street spokesperson said that “trade talks are over”, claiming that the EU has “effectively ended them” by refusing to change their negotiating position.
Commenting on the EU and UK Government talks, the First Minister said: “It is beyond belief that in the midst of a global pandemic and deep recession the Prime Minister is telling Scotland to get ready for a disastrous No-Deal Brexit.
“With less than three months until the end of the transition period, businesses and people across Scotland will be in despair at this extraordinary statement.
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“At best this is reckless brinkmanship. At worst it means the UK Government is now actively pursuing a No-Deal outcome.
“The reality is Scotland’s economy is going to be damaged by a further needless hit to jobs at the worst possible time, with either a thin trade deal or no deal now the only possible outcomes.
“A completely unnecessary Brexit shock will hit many businesses already struggling with the Covid-19 crisis.
“A No-Deal outcome would be particularly disastrous. Scotland could see heavy tariffs on goods, which for some sectors would be crippling.
“Because of the hard-line Brexit position adopted by the UK Government any outcome is going to be damaging, but a No-Deal will mean the biggest hit to jobs. The Prime Minister must withdraw his threat to force the hardest possible Brexit on Scotland.
“The Scottish Government view is clear – the best future for Scotland is to become an independent country.”
Speaking today at her coronavirus briefing, the First Minister also touched on the topics.
Sturgeon said she was “deeply frustrated and depressed” by the “avoidable” prospect of a No-Deal Brexit come December.
She went on: “That said, we’ve got to be realistic. Any deal that is struck right now will be such a bare minimum deal that there is going to be disruption at the end of this year. I think that is now inescapable.”
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The First Minister said it was “very, very frustrating” having to deal with Brexit while Covid should be the main focus.
She said: “We will do everything we can to deal with the implications of that, but make no mistake: resources are finite.
“And every civil servant, or every hour of my time that has to be spent now thinking about the implications of a No-Deal Brexit, or a bare minimum-deal Brexit, is a civil servant or an hour of my time that is not focused as it should be on trying to steer the country through the Covid pandemic.
“I feel deeply depressed about the Brexit situation, and I think that’s particularly because it is avoidable.”
Sturgeon said the fact the UK hadn’t paused Brexit talks while the SNP had paused independence campaigning was a “matter of real frustration and depression”, adding: “And that’s not just because I’m an opponent of Brexit – everybody knows that – but it is because we don’t need another big thing to be dealing with when all of us should be focusing on the Covid priority that lies ahead of us.”