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Brexit Latest: Nicola Sturgeon accuses Theresa May of 'dereliction of duty'

Prime Minister Theresa May has come under scrutiny for failing to tell the British public about the full impact of Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May has come under scrutiny for failing to tell the British public about the full impact of Brexit.
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The Scottish First Minister has said Theresa May has committed a 'dereliction of duty' by not telling the public about the costs of Brexit. The Tradefair team brings you the latest in UK politics...

"It will be a fundamental dereliction of duty as Prime Minister if Theresa May continues to pursue her red lines without providing information on their impact, and publicly discussing the options available."

- Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister

Nicola Sturgeon has said Theresa May will commit a "dereliction of duty" by failing to look at the full economic impact of Brexit.

She said: "More than 18 months on from the Brexit vote, it beggars belief that the UK government is not only still unable to say what kind of relationship it wants with the EU, but has also failed to produce any meaningful economic assessment of the different possibilities."

Sturgeon added: "It will be a fundamental dereliction of duty as Prime Minister if Theresa May continues to pursue her red lines without providing information on their impact, and publicly discussing the options available."

Scotland's forecast for Brexit

Scotland's First Minister made the accusation as her own government prepares to public research on how a withdrawal from the European Union will impact the UK. It's expected that the document will recommend remaining in the single market and customs union to limit the damage done to the economy by leaving when it is released later today (January 15).

The Scottish Government's study will predict the outcomes of three different scenarios of Brexit, outlining the expected impact on GDP, trade, and immigration of each.

This is in stark contrast to the deal May hopes to agree with the EU. The UK Prime Minister has already announced her intentions to remove Britain from the single market and create a bespoke trade deal with the bloc instead.

Sturgeon explained that no "alternative arrangement" would deliver the "jobs, people and economic benefit" that come from being part of the European Union but if Theresa May wants to continue the withdrawal process it is the Prime Minister's duty to do "as little harm as possible to the economy".

The First Minister's strong stance comes after Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs last month that there had been no assessments made on how leaving the bloc would affect the UK economy.

Instead, he said, "sectoral analysis" of different industries had been detailed. However, the government has been heavily criticised for its lack of clarity on how businesses will be affected by the UK's departure from the bloc.



Does the cabinet reshuffle prepare for Brexit?

May's latest cabinet reshuffle has also raised eyebrows about what her strategy will be for leaving the union.

In last week's switch, the Prime Minister appointed Suella Fernandes, Chair of the European Research Group and prominent Eurosceptic, as junior minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU).

Labour has claimed that Fernandes tried to block moves to arrange a transition period for leaving, asking questions about whether she will be the best person to help negotiate a deal that benefits the UK economy.

Fernandes has previously said a no-deal Brexit would be "great" for the country, contrary to the beliefs of many economists.

What about the markets?

Despite initial shock to the initial referendum result, the markets have proven to be remarkably resilient to the developments - or lack of - in the Brexit process. However, with forecasts stating that wage growth will remain stagnant, the Bank of England's Governor Mark Carney admitted that the economy could be heading for bumpy times.

He said the Brexit vote had slowed the UK economy, with the country now being the worst-performing in the G7, despite being the best before the June 2016 vote.

All of this is likely to see investors look elsewhere when it comes to making any significant moves, especially as the US sees the benefit of increased optimism after its tax reform move.

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