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Sturgeon: Scotland should get Northern Ireland's EU deal

First Minister speaks out as details of a special deal on the Irish border emerge.

Nicola Sturgeon: The First Minister wants Scotland to remain in the EU's single market.
Nicola Sturgeon: The First Minister wants Scotland to remain in the EU's single market. Scottish Government / Cropped

There is no reason Scotland cannot get a special deal with the rest of the European Union if Northern Ireland is given one, the First Minister has said.

Nicola Sturgeon made the comment on Twitter as details began to emerge of a special deal to keep Northern Ireland in the same regulatory regime with the EU to avoid a "hard border" with Ireland.

The UK and the EU appear to be moving close to a settlement on the first stage of the Brexit deal.

European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted: "Tell me why I like Mondays! Encouraged after my phone call with Taoiseach @campaignforleo on progress on #Brexit issue of Ireland.

"Getting closer to sufficient progress at December."

"If one part of UK can retain regulatory alignment with EU and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can't," the First Minister tweeted.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, who supported leaving the EU, said her party would not support such an arrangement in a statement at Stormont on Monday afternoon.

Theresa May's government relies on the support of DUP MPs to pass its budgets and survive confidence motions.

Without their backing her government will be put in doubt.

Speaking in Belfast, Foster said: "We have been very clear: Northern Ireland must leave the European Union on the same terms as the rest of the United Kingdom and we will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separate Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the UK.

"And the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom must not be compromised in any way."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1403675-brexit-deal-very-likely-after-may-agrees-to-irish-border-compromise/ | default

Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said: "The indications we have is that we are in a much better place now than we have been in the negotiations to date.

"The legitimate concerns that Ireland has been raising for months are going to be addressed fully. These discussions are moving in the right direction.

"I hope we are in a place this evening where Irish people north and south will get reassurance from the wording that is very close to being finalised now."

The Scottish Government has been calling for the country to remain inside the European single market since last year.

The call was rejected by the UK Government, which said such a move would create internal trade barriers and damage the UK's own single market.

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