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Brexit: Sturgeon asks May for 'urgent clarifications'

Theresa May has hinted there will be no transitional period if no deal is signed.

Brexit: Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon have rarely agreed on the Brexit process.
Brexit: Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon have rarely agreed on the Brexit process. PA

The First Minister has written to the Prime Minister seeking a number of urgent clarifications over the Brexit process.

The UK Government has repeatedly stated it hopes to strike a two-year transitional deal with the European Union before a future permanent trade deal kicks in.

On Monday, Theresa May told MPs there could be no "implementation period" unless both sides have an agreed "future partnership".

Talks on a trade deal are yet to begin and May has previously warned she would be prepared to leave the EU without signing one as "no deal is better than a bad deal".

Nicola Sturgeon has now asked the Prime Minister to clarify her government's position on a transitional period.

Downing Street spokeswom said: "We will respond to the letter thoroughly in due course."

Points of clarification to the Prime Minister

  1. "You are urgently seeking agreement on a transition arrangement of at least two years, with the aim of securing that agreement by the end of this year."
  2. "This will be based on thecurrent structure of EU rules - a steady state transition."
  3. "That you are not making your agreement to such a transition conditional on agreement before March 2019 on the detailed terms of the future relationship between the UK and EU?"

In the letter to the Prime Minister, Sturgeon said: "Given the differences in recent statements both from you and from those ministers with responsibility for Brexit I believe absolute clarity of the UK Government's aims in this regard is required and would be welcomed."

She added: "I am increasingly concerned by the possibility that your negotiations may result in a 'no deal' scenario.

"The Scottish Parliament gave a clear view this week that a no deal situation would not be acceptable and I believe that if the UK finds itself in that position, that no Brexit would be preferable to no deal - or indeed a bad deal - and that each of the parliaments in the UK must have the opportunity to take a view on that."

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