Ruth Davidson stresses importance of single market to Scotland


Scotland must retain access to the European single market to protect the economy, jobs and public services, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has told Europe Minister David Lidington.

Ms Davidson met her Conservative Cabinet colleague in Edinburgh to ensure Scotland's voice will be heard and its interests protected in negotiations to withdraw the UK from the European Union.

She stressed the importance of the single market to Scotland's economy and said "the over-riding priority is to retain access to it".

European Council leaders have made clear that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four EU freedoms - including freedom of movement which was one of the main grievances of the Leave campaign in their efforts to take back control of immigration.

President Donald Tusk said: "There will be no single market a la carte."

Ms Davidson said: "I was pleased to meet with David to discuss the upcoming negotiations and the best way forward for Scotland and the wider UK.

"We both agreed that it is vital for the voice of Scotland to be heard in these talks, and that the Scottish Government should be involved at all stages of the negotiations.

"There is undoubtedly a need for all the devolved administrations to work with the UK Government to ensure we get a deal that reflects the needs of all of us.

"Chiefly amongst this will be our continued access to the single market.

"Protecting our trade with the European Union will boost our economy, sustain jobs and help to fund vital public services."