Statement from the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales
Joint call to UK Government ahead of British Irish Council.
Speaking ahead of the final British Irish Council before a new Prime Minister takes office, the Scottish and Welsh First Ministers have called on the future Prime Minister to rule out a ‘no deal’ Brexit under any circumstances.
In a joint statement, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said both their governments would work together, and with others, to keep the UK in the EU.
The two First Ministers said:
“We are becoming increasingly alarmed by the increase in hard-line rhetoric about a ‘no deal’ Brexit and a debate focussed on policy proposals for leaving the EU which have no basis in reality.
“Severe economic damage is already being done as a result of Brexit uncertainty impacting economic opportunities as companies will be making decisions on their future on long-term competitiveness - as workers at British Steel, Ford, Honda, and elsewhere can witness.
“We believe leaving the EU without a deal would be disastrous for the economies within these islands and for the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people.
“A ‘no deal’ Brexit would deeply damage the reputation of the UK as a reliable international partner and undermine the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process on the island of Ireland.
“The next Prime Minister must pull back from the brink of a ‘no deal’ Brexit and be honest with the public. If they continue on their current path, the UK looks increasingly likely to crash-out of the EU in just four months’ time.
“The EU will not simply cave in to demands to re-open the Withdrawal Agreement, and claims that we could both leave without a deal and still benefit from tariff-free trade with the EU have been disproved.
“The new Prime Minister must change course and rule out ‘no deal’ under any circumstances.
“It is now clear that, due to the deadlock at Westminster, there should be a new referendum on EU membership and both our governments would support remain. We will work together and with others who share that aim.”