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Prime Minister setting up another potential Brexit cliff-edge, says Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister has accused Theresa May of ‘more short-termism’ in her latest request to delay the UK’s departure from the EU.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticised the Prime Minister’s delay request (Jane Barlow/PA)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticised the Prime Minister’s delay request (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused Theresa May of setting up “potentially another cliff-edge” with her latest Brexit delay request to the EU.

The Prime Minister has written to European Council president Donald Tusk asking him to extend the UK’s deadline for leaving the EU until June 30, with the option to leave earlier if her Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.

Currently, UK is due to leave the EU at the end of next week unless a deal can be reached after the Commons rejected the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement for the third time.

EU sources said Mr Tusk is recommending a longer postponement of one year, with a break clause in the case of earlier ratification, in a so-called “flextension” deal.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Ms Sturgeon accused Mrs May of “yet more short-termism and the setting up, potentially, of another cliff edge”.

Ms Sturgeon told the broadcaster: “The sensible thing to do, in my view, and it seems as if this might be the EU’s view as well, is to have a longer extension to allow time for this issue to go back to the people in another referendum rather than continue to have these short-term cliff edges.

“The first priority, of course, must be to avoid a no-deal exit at the end of next week – but beyond that give some time and space now for some sensible ways forward to be found.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “The EU has been clear that we must have a clear purpose for any extension.

“It’s time for the Prime Minister to admit that the best way to make this mess go away is a People’s Vote, giving the people the chance to have their say on her catastrophic handling of Brexit.”

PA

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