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Nicola Sturgeon warns of possible bid to block Brexit

By Katrine Bussey

Published 27/06/2016

Motion warning: Nicola Sturgeon
Motion warning: Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has warned she would consider asking Holyrood to block the UK's departure from Europe if MSPs are required to give formal backing for Brexit

The First Minister said if the Scottish Parliament has to give its consent, she would "of course" consider asking MSPs not to do this.

In Scotland 62% of people voted to stay in the European Union (EU), in contrast to the UK-wide vote, which saw 52% opt to leave.

With the UK now "in turmoil", the SNP leader said she would "find it hard to believe" that Holyrood would not be required to back the UK leaving the EU.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he did not think the Scottish Parliament would be "in a position to block Brexit".

Ms Sturgeon, however, said the UK was in "uncharted territory" in the wake of the referendum result and "all of the complexities that have been thrown up by the vote on Thursday".

With laws passed by Holyrood required to comply with European legislation on human rights, she was pressed on the issue on BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The issue you're talking about is whether there would require to be a legislative consent motion, or motions in the Scottish Parliament for legislation that extricates the UK from the European Union.

"Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't be that requirement, I suspect the UK Government will take a very different view and we'll have to see where that discussion ends up."

She added: "I care about the rest of the UK, I care about England, that's why I'm so upset at the UK-wide decision that's been taken. But my job as First Minister, the Scottish Parliament's job, is to judge these things on the basis of what's in the interests of people in Scotland."

But Mr Mundell insisted: "We have to respect the result on Thursday, even if we don't like it."

The UK Government minister, who had campaigned for the UK to remain in Europe, added: "I personally don't believe the Scottish Parliament is in a position to block Brexit."

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