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Boris Johnson and a no-deal Brexit would be ‘disaster for Scotland’ - Nicola Sturgeon

The First Minister was speaking during a visit to the Royal Highland Show on Friday (June 21). 

Hazel McNee, Fraser Shaw, Joyce Campbell, and the First Minister
Hazel McNee, Fraser Shaw, Joyce Campbell, and the First Minister
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Boris Johnson and a no-deal Brexit would be ‘disaster for Scotland’ - Nicola Sturgeon

This week’s Tory leadership election has considerably increased the risks associated with a no-deal Brexit, believes Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

 

During a visit to the Royal Highland Show on Friday she said: “The risk is increasing with the leadership contest now between two hard line Brexiteers – one of who seems to almost be relishing the idea of no-deal.

 

“But it also increase the chances of averting Brexit altogether. I have never made any secret that being the best option”

 

Ms Sturgeon also said the leadership candidates have shown a ‘centralising tendency which runs counter to devolution.


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Asked about what she could do to avoid the worst effects of a no-deal Brexit she said: “Obviously we will do what we can but I will not be kidding people into thinking we could sort out the damage through mitigation measures. Boris would be a disaster for Scotland.”

 

When it was suggested that farming would not be at the top of her priority list if Brexit went badly the First Minister said: “Farming is not down the list. It is at the top or near the top or the agenda.”

 

Ms Sturgeon had earlier told a Quality Meat Scotland gathering that as far as farm payments were concerned her government was committed to a five year transition until 2024.

 

In the event of the ‘political catastrophe’ of a no-deal Brexit funding would only be in place until April 2020.

 

Catastrophe

“It is very unclear what that would mean in practice, but we make sure payments will continue,” she said.

Ms Sturgeon admitted there had been shortcomings in delivering farm payments but these had now been overcome.

 

She said: “I know our failures and problems were unacceptable in 2016 and 2017 but we made sorting them out a priority and we have made great progress.

 

“We have paid out over £500m this year which is over 90 per cent of the total and we are 14 per cent ahead of where were at the same stage last year.

 

The First Minster was last at Royal Highland Show in 2017. Her visit that day coincided with the first day of Brexit negotiations in Brussels.

 

“We are not much further forward now that we were then,” she noted wryly.

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