Scotland’s first minister believes there is a potential Commons majority for remaining in the single market and customs union.
Addressing an economic forum in Dundee, Nicola Sturgeon warned Theresa May’s EU withdrawal plan risks putting Scotland at a “real competitive disadvantage” due to the potential for a differentiated deal for Northern Ireland.
She said neither a bad deal nor no deal is inevitable and leaving the single market would do “considerable damage” to jobs and living standards in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon told delegates: “We must have a concern about in future being in a situation where companies can choose Belfast and will secure unfettered access to the European single market which they wouldn’t get in Dundee, Glasgow or Edinburgh.
“That would be a real competitive disadvantage for Scotland and is something that is uppermost in the Scottish Government’s mind.”
The SNP leader added: “The Scottish Government’s view is that we should continue to press for – and I believe there is the potential for – a majority in the House of Commons around this, for the UK to stay in the single market and the customs union.
“That would be a solution that respects the outcome of the referendum, largely resolves the Irish border issue and mitigates the worst economic consequences of Brexit.”
She will press this position on a visit to London and attempt to build a coalition supporting it, having earlier confirmed SNP MPs will vote against the prime minister’s withdrawal plan.