SNP Plots With Labour and Tory Remainers to Push ‘Soft’ Deal Inside Single Market


The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) has hinted at plans to collude with anti-Brexit Tories and Labour to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit proposals and push through a “Norway model” exit.

SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrats, and anti-Brexit Tory MPs have been in talks, according to The Guardian, with the aim of voting down the Prime Minister’s plan and agreement on an alternative.

That alternative is likely to lock the UK in the European Union’s (EU) Single Market and Customs Union in the long term, which could mean no control over most regulation, trade policy, and even continued open borders.

“In terms of the softer remain element of the Conservatives, I think they have a role to play in putting that majority together,” SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told reporters after meeting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader.

Ms Sturgeon also reportedly met the Prime Minister, who is losing support for her deal, with member states threatening to block it in Europe and both Brexiteers and pro-EU politicians voicing criticism in the UK parliament.

A so-called Norway model has previously been proposed by senior Tory backbenchers including former ministers Nicky Morgan, George Freeman, and Nick Boles, with the latter arguing for permanent Single Market membership.

Sturgeon said: “If that’s moving towards a permanent Single Market, Customs Union, that’s what the SNP has been arguing for, for the last two years and that’s one of the options that potentially we can build a majority around.

“It’s not the only option, but it’s one of them, and the more options we’ve got on the table right now the better.”

The Scottish leader also suggested that her party’s differences with Labour stem from their objective to end freedom of movement and open borders and changing state aid rules.

“Hopefully as these discussions develop we’ll see movement on all sorts of positions,” Ms Sturgeon added.


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