Sturgeon to decide on second independence referendum by end of 2018

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh Scotland Thursday Oct. 26 2017

It estimates that the Scottish economy will grow at a slower pace than it would if the country stayed in the European Union, with GDP to be 8.5% lower by 2030 than if the United Kingdom had remained a full member of the EU.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has expressed surprise about the UK's unwillingness to define its relations with the European Union a year and a half after the Brexit vote, the BBC reported.

The Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the report strengthened the case for the United Kingdom to retainmembership of the single market, but added that her government's preference was still to stay a full member of the EU.

And the new analysis will also highlight how vital it will be to stay in Europe's Single Market. The lack of any United Kingdom government studies to support its plan to leave the trading bloc means "hard Brexiteers have had their chance and failed", it will say.

Ms Sturgeon said that so-called hard Brexiteers had failed to show how their approach would compensate for the loss of access to European markets.

The Scottish Government's study, to be launched by Ms Sturgeon in Edinburgh on Monday, looks at the impact of three different Brexit outcomes on GDP, trade and immigration.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has said that the publication of Scotland's Place in Europe highlights the need for the United Kingdom to remain within the single market and customs union.

Nicola Sturgeon has published a report warning that Brexit will cost up to £2,300 per person but gave no figures to support its conclusion that independence was "best" for Scotland's economic prospects.

The Scottish Conservatives urged Ms Sturgeon to make it clear she is no longer pursuing such a deal, and called on her to back UK-wide trade and immigration rules.

"The Scottish Government is absolutely clear that, if the United Kingdom is indeed leaving the EU, then it must stay within the single market and customs union to prevent needless job losses and cuts in living standards".

Murray emphasised that the coalition was not against trade but believed that any deals must not be allowed to threaten government's ability to make policy to protect the environment, food safety standards, and workers' rights.

A UK Government spokeswoman said: "We are seeking a deal that works for the whole of the UK, that delivers on the result of the European Union referendum". But UK voters overall backed leaving.

These include staying in the single market and customs union, a preferential trade agreement or reverting to WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms.

The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and Greens have joined forces to back an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill when it returns to the Commons this week.

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