Scotland faces independence choice after UK single market decision

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tells lawmakers at Holyrood that the British government's decision to leave the European single market leaves Scotland with a choice to make on independence from the United Kingdom.

SCOTLAND (REUTERS) - Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told lawmakers on Thursday (Jan 19) that Scotland faced a choice on independence following the British government's announcement on Tuesday (Jan 17) that it would take Britain out of the European single market as part of its negotiating strategy for leaving the European Union.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The last thing our businesses need right now, whether they are in Scotland or other parts of the UK, is to be ripped out of the world's biggest single market. That is the future that they face because of a Conservative government's obsession with immigration rather than the interests of this economy first."

She added: "Scotland does face a choice: Do we go down the damaging path set out by Theresa May, with all the impacts that we know that will have, in the knowledge that our voice doesn't matter within the UK? Or do we decide to take our future into our own hands and take control of the future of our country into our own hands? The difference between me and I believe Patrick Harvie, and others in this chamber, is that I believe that should be a decision for the Scottish people."

Sturgeon, who leads the Scottish pro-independence government, has submitted a series of proposals on Scotland's position to the UK government, including the option of Scotland maintaining its EU single market links from within the UK.

Many see that as impractical but the Scottish government argues that as Brexit is unprecedented, a creative approach should be considered.