29/03/2017 Reporting Scotland


29/03/2017

The latest news and weather from around Scotland presented by Jackie Bird.


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European Union after 44 years of membership. That's all from the BBC

:00:00.:00:00.

Good evening from Westminster, a special edition of the programme. We

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will be looking at what the triggering of Article 50 means for

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Scotland. We will strengthen the union of the four nations that

:00:19.:00:27.

comprise our united Kingdom. If she denies Scotland a choice, she will

:00:28.:00:29.

make Scottish independence inevitable. We will look at the

:00:30.:00:35.

impact of leaving the single market on the economy. We will be in

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Brussels to find out what EU politicians think about the

:00:42.:00:51.

relationship with Europe. More delays to the new Queensbury

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Crossing, could be August before it's open to traffic.

:00:54.:01:12.

The process that will change the United Kingdom's place

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The world's media has gathered here at Westminster to digest

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Over there at the Commons the Prime Minister insisted

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she wanted to agree a deep and special partnership with Europe.

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But in response the SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson

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called again for a vote on independence to give

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In a moment we will be speaking to the UK Government

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But first our political correspondent Nick Eardley reports

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Another day of history in Westminster. They've hardly been in

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short supply. But today's events will change the United Kingdom,

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starting one of the most complex negotiations Whitehall has ever

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seen, altering our relationship with Europe fundamentally. Will Brexit be

:02:05.:02:14.

good for Scotland? He think so but his opponents disagree passionately.

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The Prime Minister's statement delivered to coincide with the

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formal divorce letter arriving in Brussels. Statement, the Prime

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Minister. A message of unity and a pledge of more powers for Holyrood.

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It is the expectation of the government that the devolved

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administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see a

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significant increase in their decision-making power as a result of

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this process. When I sit around the negotiating table in the months

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ahead I will represent every person in the United Kingdom, young and

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old, rich and poor, city, town and country and all the villages and

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hamlets in between. The SNP said UK wide agreement hadn't been

:02:59.:03:01.

delivered. The Prime Minister promised an agreement. There is no

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agreement. She has broken her word. If she remains intransigent and if

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she denies Scotland a choice on our future, she will make Scottish

:03:13.:03:19.

independence inevitable. And here it is, the letter that was livid to

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President Tusk earlier today. It said that the talks should be

:03:27.:03:29.

constructive and respectful. It admits the task ahead is momentous

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but says it should be within the grasp of the UK and EU to find a

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deal two years. Is the message from the UK Government one of optimism?

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The tone of the letter is very positive. We want to form a new

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relationship with the EU. We are confirming that we will be European

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but not part of the EU. We are looking to take these negotiations

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forward in a constructive fashion, get a deal that works for Scotland

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and the whole of the UK. Some disagree and think today is a bad

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one that will make Scotland worse off. A sad day for Scotland and for

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the rest of the UK and for Europe as well. For a long, long time we've

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become wealthier, healthier, fairer and safer as a result of our

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partnership with the European Union. Obviously bad news, not just for

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Scotland but for businesses and people's jobs across the length and

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breadth of the United Kingdom. There is no stopping this, we cannot get

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off this bus, so we need to engage with the process and make sure the

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priorities we want are included in negotiations and make sure we hold

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this government to account every step of the way. The Brexit process

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has begun. Where it takes the UK and where it takes Scotland, those

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questions will be answered in coming years.

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Our Westminster correspondent David Porter joins me.

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David, the Prime Minister insisting that this would be a deal

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for all the devolved nations but that wasn't enough for the SNP.

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They feel Scotland was not treated as an equal partner? That's right,

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in essence this goes to the heart of the disagreement between the ardent

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Unionist Theresa May and the nationalist. In our mammoth

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statement to MPs this afternoon she said she would negotiate on behalf

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of all of the UK but she made it plain there would be no separate

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special deals for Scotland. She says more powers can come to Holyrood but

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she did not spell them out and the Nationalists want more information.

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They feel that to some extent the deal they thought they had for an

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agreement that things would be decided before Article 50 was

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triggered, they feel the Prime Minister has reneged on that. The

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anger we saw in the House of Commons today, I don't think it was

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synthetic. I think it was real anger. To some extent what we are

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seeing when you add this to the simmering row, the escalating row

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that is on Scottish independence, you see just how difficult the

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relations are now potentially between the Scottish Government and

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relations are now potentially the UK Government. And unless things

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improve, just how difficult things could be throughout the whole Brexit

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process. The First Minister has warned that

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Brexit is a dangerous And Scottish Ministers say

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the Article 50 timetable makes the case for an independence

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referendum even more compelling. The call came as the UK Government

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turned down proposals But Conservatives insist

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a referendum would be This from our political

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editor Brian Taylor. Nicola Sturgeon says she wishes the

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Prime Minister well in her efforts to secure the best possible Brexit

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deal. But visiting eight Iosco company creating 300 jobs through

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European links, she warns Brexit will be damaging. No doubt that what

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is happening today does represent something of a leap in the dark.

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Albeit Article 50 has been triggered today, the Prime Minister still

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can't answer basic questions about today, the Prime Minister still

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what Brexit will mean for businesses, for the economy

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generally. The First Minister had urged a distinctive deal involving

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Scottish access to the European single market. Eva Davis, the

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European exit says that is unworkable. He stresses shared

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ground and shared goals for the talks. Scotland will be a strong

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voice standing up for Scottish interests. At the end of the process

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clearly delineated in the letter, will be required to make a choice.

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We can put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands all we can be

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dragged along with hard Brexit. The people of Scotland deserve that

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choice. The Conservatives say they won't even contemplate an

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independence referendum until Brexit is not just signed off but settled

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down. Now it's not the time to be putting a second independence

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referendum deal on the table. What about 2021? Now is not the time to

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be talking about a second independence referendum. Cosier

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Dugdale in Wales today discussing feminism says a plague on both

:08:10.:08:14.

houses. People don't want to be forced to choose between two extreme

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nationalism is. I've seen it for years. More and more fierce. A play

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about Brexit takes to the stage in a Lascuna. The political drama has now

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opened And the SNP's leader

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here at Westminster, You spoke with passion today

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in the Commons about your opposition to Brexit and that if Scotland's

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views were ignored it would make The first thing is obviously it has

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been a really big day and a Rubicon has been crossed. The point I was

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trying to make to the Prime Minister is that the Scottish Government and

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MPs work in good faith to find an agreement, not a compromise. The

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MPs work in good faith to find an Prime Minister said she wanted an

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agreement before triggering Article 50 and there is no agreement. It

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seems to us and will seem too many viewers in Scotland that if the

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Prime Minister is prepared to rate her word on that, how should we take

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the rest of the promises about what is heading in our direction as a

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result of Brexit which I fear will be damaging to our economy, our

:09:21.:09:25.

links with the rest of Europe. Those promises include more power for the

:09:26.:09:29.

Scottish parliament, what's not to like? But what does that mean? At

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the moment it just sounds like rhetoric. If the Prime Minister were

:09:34.:09:37.

serious, she would have delivered on the promise she made last July. She

:09:38.:09:43.

promised a UK wide approach, an agreement with the government of

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Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is no agreement. If

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the Prime Minister wants a respectful arrangement with the

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different regions of the UK, if you are going to make such a promise,

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you deliver, and if not people are right to question if the rest of it

:10:00.:10:03.

is a serious opposition or not. I fear this rhetoric about more powers

:10:04.:10:08.

coming back has already Dean Kiely did by what I believe is likely to

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happen which is that all these powers are not coming back. I don't

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think fisheries will come back to Scotland, I don't take powers on

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agriculture will come back to Scotland, I think they will reserve

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powers here to Westminster and Scotland will have to continue to

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play second fiddle over far too many areas. Ayew asking voters in

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Scotland to choose between the UK and EU, effectively isn't that what

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it is? The first instance is a democratic point, should the people

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of Scotland have a choice? To which my answer is absolutely. The reason

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why this is so important, after 18 months we will see decisions made

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here, in the House of Commons and House Lords, the European Parliament

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and 27 other European countries, they are all going to have a choice

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about our country's future. It seems regardless of whether you voted

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remain or leave, on such a big issue when there are going to be two

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potential outcomes we can choose, I think people should have the choice.

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As Democrats we should all sign up to that and I think we should be

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united that given this is such a big thing which is going to impact on

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our country so much we should trust the voters on this. Very briefly,

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Nicola Sturgeon's letter is still to be delivered to the Prime Minister,

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you say it will contain options, can you explain? I will leave that to my

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colleagues in the Scottish Government.

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Leaving the European Union is a political decision.

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Here's our business and economy editor, Douglas Fraser.

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It's hard to think of any decision that will affect everyone in the

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country the way that this one will. So far it's been mainly political

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but the impact will be mainly economic. This is about the movement

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of goods across borders, of services often down fibre-optic cables, and

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the movement of workers, of consumers. It's about people. This

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is one of those affected, his French and exports shellfish from Glasgow

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to France, Spain and Italy. There is a threat he could lose the right to

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live here. I feel unwelcome. I think I will have to go back to France.

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Half of my team come from Eastern Europe. They are happy, stable,

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working hard. They are happy to stay here. But now we will see what

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happened with the Brexit. At the moment nobody knows. Exports are

:12:29.:12:35.

helped by the weakened pound though inflation has hit packaging and

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helped by the weakened pound though other costs. Fellow French fishermen

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could lose access to British waters. I think we cause trouble, the French

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are very well-known for that. Any problems, they do the blockage. And

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if I can't export tomorrow it will be a serious problem for us. Deep

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sea fishing was one business sector pleased to see Theresa May's letter

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delivered. She has the support of the fishing industry behind her. By

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God if she deviates from that she'll be hearing from us. It's a great day

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for the industry and we look forward to an amicable Brexit. Other sectors

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have other issues. The boss of publisher HarperCollins says he is

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already losing European stuff. Glasgow University wanted to attract

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two American recruits but they pulled out because they would not be

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linked into academic networks. There are plans to double container

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traffic within five years for this group. This economic expert and lead

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adviser to the Scottish Government on Brexit says distinctive Scottish

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concern is about continuing recent success in attracting young

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migrants. These have changed the demographic of Scotland, what skills

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and really boosted and reversed the decline in Scottish topography. And

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that is key. The British government may have to, mice, he says, a lot,

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it if it is to avoid the cliff edge. There is a chance of there not being

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a deal, it is a challenging thing to negotiate a deal. If we are on a

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cliff edge that could be economic to catastrophic. The consensus amongst

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economists is that the outlook does not look good. At the businesses,

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they are always looking for opportunities wherever they arise.

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I'm joined now by the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell.

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How do we know that Brexit won't damage the union

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If Brexit is a fatal to the union, Theresa May saw the dangers. I don't

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think it is going to be fatal to the United Kingdom. She said it would

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be. I think we will deliver on the basis of the letter triggering

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Article 50, the Prime Minister's White Paper and we will deliver a

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good deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK, and that is the basis on

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which the people of Scotland will judge Brexit. The letter today shows

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we will take a positive and constructive approach, and we

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recognise we are leaving the EU but not to Europe, we will work to get

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access to the single market so that Scottish businesses and the economy

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can prosper, and we will take advantage of all the other

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opportunities that can come with Brexit. How helpful is it to this

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partnership of equals that the Westminster government didn't

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respond to the Scottish government's proposals for Brexit until after it

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was triggered? We have been in a very active dialogue... You didn't

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respond until late afternoon! We have been active in a dialogue with

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the Scottish government. All the things set out in the letter are

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things that have been discussed before, discussed in official

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meetings, ministerial meeting so there was nothing that was a

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surprise in our response. What we are saying today there are so many

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areas in which we are an agreement, and if we don't agree the means, we

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agree the end. It would be... We don't think Scotland needs a

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separate agreement. If we can get a very good deal for the UK, that

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would be a very good deal for Scotland. You said now isn't the

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time for another independence referendum. When? I think having an

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independence referendum during the Brexit process would be unfair on

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Scotland, so we have to seek our way through the journey and

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negotiations, through the implementation, I believe, NFP about

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transition... Is in it disrespectful to be so an -- ambiguous? I think it

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would be disrespectful for us to give a date. We don't have a crystal

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ball, we don't know when the Brexit journey will be complete. What we do

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know is if people are going to be asked again about the constitutional

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future on the basis of Brexit, they have to know what the Brexit deal

:17:14.:17:18.

is, how it is affecting them, how the relationship of the UK and the

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rest of the EU is going to work and it would be disrespectful to ask

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them to choose if they don't know that. Thank you very much for your

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time this evening. Formal negotiations with Brussels

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aren't expected to begin So what do EU politicians

:17:29.:17:31.

and officials think about Scotland's Our political correspondent,

:17:32.:17:33.

Glenn Campbell is in Glenn, what's been

:17:34.:17:36.

the response there? It's just a few hours since the UK's

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exit letter was handed in at the European Council. For now, the

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enormity of that is more than enough for the EU to chew on but among

:17:57.:18:01.

politicians and the wider public here there is awareness of the

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renewed debate over Scottish independence.

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There is no guide to the EU's capital city expert enough to say

:18:07.:18:14.

what Brexit will bring. I suppose it will not be a good thing and I hope

:18:15.:18:20.

the Scottish leave the United Kingdom, then they cameramen with

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us. You think so? I hope so. Because a majority in Scotland voted

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running, the First Minister wanted to keep us if not the whole of the

:18:30.:18:34.

UK inside the European single market in a Norway style arrangement but

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Norway's Minister for the single market, that is membership of the

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EA, isn't sure such a special deal would have been possible. I find it

:18:44.:18:47.

difficult to see a model where Scotland would be part of the UK and

:18:48.:18:57.

part of the EEA. What if Scotland votes for independence? Be welcomed

:18:58.:19:01.

into Norway style membership of the European single market? That is the

:19:02.:19:04.

same answer. We would be open-minded. Cooperation between

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countries in Europe is important. Scottish ministers will be pleased

:19:11.:19:13.

to hear the open-minded this is because they are coming to think

:19:14.:19:17.

about a Norway style deal as a staging post a full EU and Bishop if

:19:18.:19:24.

Scotland votes for independence after the UK has left the European

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Union. Theresa May wants Brexit to bed in before any fresh vote on

:19:29.:19:32.

independence but Nicola Sturgeon thinks we will know enough in 18

:19:33.:19:37.

months to two years. Do not's man in Brussels thinks any shape of Brexit

:19:38.:19:41.

deal should be clearer by then. I hope and think we will be able to

:19:42.:19:46.

manage to get a compromise, a deal that would cover both the divorce

:19:47.:19:51.

Bill and also the future relationship. Nicola Sturgeon is but

:19:52.:19:55.

lots of effort into explaining her position on Brexit to European

:19:56.:19:59.

leaders. There is understanding here but most senior figures are

:20:00.:20:02.

reluctant to be drawn into our debate. As far as Scotland is

:20:03.:20:10.

concerned, all those who voted to stay feel they are unhappy and feel

:20:11.:20:14.

their considerations were not taken into account. It will be up to the

:20:15.:20:20.

people of Scotland to decide what they want now, to organise their

:20:21.:20:27.

future life. Back in Brussels main square, a visiting leader who has

:20:28.:20:30.

decided his country should eventually joined the EU. To get

:20:31.:20:36.

closer and closer to our family, where we feel we belong. Do you

:20:37.:20:40.

think it is funny Georgia is trying to get in when the UK is coming out?

:20:41.:20:45.

I might think that it is funny but there is nothing funny in that. It

:20:46.:20:50.

is a decision of the United Kingdom which we need to respect. Different

:20:51.:20:56.

countries, different choices. Nicola Sturgeon is determined

:20:57.:21:00.

Scotland should have another chance to choose to make its own

:21:01.:21:04.

relationship with the European Union. Theresa May seems equally

:21:05.:21:09.

determined Scotland should wait to see what extra power Brexit brings

:21:10.:21:14.

home from Brussels to Holyrood before deciding if we want to choose

:21:15.:21:20.

between a more independent UK and an independent Scotland.

:21:21.:21:22.

And there's a news special on the triggering of Brexit

:21:23.:21:24.

Andrew Neil will be interviewing the prime ministers about her intentions

:21:25.:21:35.

for the Brexit negotiations to come and be talking to the Scottish

:21:36.:21:40.

government's Brexit minister where this leaves the next independence

:21:41.:21:44.

referendum and I'll be talking to Scottish Labour, the Lib Dems and

:21:45.:21:48.

the Greens. That is at 7pm, immediately after this programme.

:21:49.:21:52.

The opening of the new Queensferry Crossing has been delayed again.

:21:53.:21:55.

It's being blamed on bad weather affecting the construction work.

:21:56.:21:57.

The bridge won't now be open to traffic until July or August.

:21:58.:22:00.

Weather is blamed for the delay. The Scottish garment flagship's project

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was meant to open last September now it will be July or August. We are

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frustrated by this but what is important is we have an iconic

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structure, which we can't see today, but we have to have it completed

:22:22.:22:25.

safely and his standard. The contractor faces fines for these

:22:26.:22:31.

delays. We took the effect on whether into account and added

:22:32.:22:35.

additional factors onto it, some percentages but what we've actually

:22:36.:22:39.

found, especially in the last two or three months, the weather has been

:22:40.:22:42.

far greater than we expected. The Scottish government stresses there

:22:43.:22:47.

won't be more cost to the purse. In fact it says this six-year project

:22:48.:22:54.

will come in at a quarter of ?1 billion below budget. Opposition

:22:55.:22:57.

politicians are critical, they wonder if the timetables were ever

:22:58.:23:01.

realistic. Why wasn't the Scottish Parliament told earlier there was

:23:02.:23:06.

going to be another delay? Wended Keith Brown know about this

:23:07.:23:10.

situation? And was the date regarded by the Scottish government to bury

:23:11.:23:14.

bad news because all the attention is elsewhere? A couple of lorries

:23:15.:23:20.

caused closures this winter but now drivers will be hoping there is no

:23:21.:23:23.

further disruption to either crossing. It is a grey day in

:23:24.:23:31.

Westminster, let's get the weather now. There was some sunshine around

:23:32.:23:39.

especially in the north-west. Contrast this with the East Coast,

:23:40.:23:45.

it is quite murky in St Andrews. Cloudy and dump for all of us but

:23:46.:23:50.

reasonably mild. Outbreaks of rain moving northwards in the next few

:23:51.:23:55.

hours, quite messy progress edging northwards, eventually reaching

:23:56.:23:59.

Shetland by midnight, and as we head through the early hours, that rain

:24:00.:24:04.

fading away. There will be some mist and Merck around but fairly mild

:24:05.:24:10.

with temperatures in towns and cities 9-8. Tomorrow gets off to a

:24:11.:24:14.

reasonably dry at cloudy start with the odd spot of drizzle. Like today,

:24:15.:24:21.

the rain arouse from the South. North of any higher ground, some

:24:22.:24:26.

morning sunshine at clouding over as this rain arrives. By mid-afternoon,

:24:27.:24:31.

the rain starting to peter out so, reasonably dry. The exact timing of

:24:32.:24:37.

that clearing is open to doubt but we hope many areas should improve

:24:38.:24:40.

and should be brighter than what we are seeing here. In the sunshine,

:24:41.:24:44.

temperatures into the teens but all of us in the mild temperatures. And

:24:45.:24:50.

some brightness coming through, particularly across the far north.

:24:51.:24:55.

Into the evening, some outbreaks of rain in the south edging northwards,

:24:56.:25:00.

and that unsettled theme continues towards Friday, with more wet

:25:01.:25:05.

weather edging northwards from the south. For Friday, a bit of an East-

:25:06.:25:13.

West split, ad rates of rain in the West, the further east you are, the

:25:14.:25:20.

brighter it is. The timing of this rain on Friday is uncertain but some

:25:21.:25:26.

sunshine hopefully to follow. The beginning of April, April showers on

:25:27.:25:31.

Saturday, some heavy. Sunday, generally drier and brighter but

:25:32.:25:33.

fresher. That's the forecast. The clock has started on the process

:25:34.:25:35.

that will see the UK leaving the European Union

:25:36.:25:38.

but there is a long road ahead before it becomes clear

:25:39.:25:40.

what the impact will be. There is also the prospect

:25:41.:25:42.

of a second independence referendum. Well, to consider that I'm joined

:25:43.:25:46.

by the BBC's political Laura, amid the massive task

:25:47.:25:48.

of negotiating Brexit, does the Prime Minister

:25:49.:25:56.

have a strategy to address I think there is a strategy. In the

:25:57.:26:09.

big picture, it's almost hold your hand up and not now. She said it

:26:10.:26:14.

publicly but never ruled out the possibility of it ever happening.

:26:15.:26:18.

The second part of the strategy is we are in a situation where the UK

:26:19.:26:22.

Government doesn't want to contemplate this vote any time soon,

:26:23.:26:26.

that's as clear as day. Given the events of the last couple of weeks,

:26:27.:26:32.

we will now see a more careful consideration, a more constant

:26:33.:26:36.

checking in the discussions that happen, how would this policy or

:26:37.:26:41.

discussion play in Holyrood? How would this particularly thorny

:26:42.:26:45.

problem and fold if it were unfolding in Scotland? How would

:26:46.:26:49.

people see things from a Scottish perspective? Everything that

:26:50.:26:51.

happened in the last couple of weeks have put this issue is slap bang on

:26:52.:26:56.

the table, which means that while the government's position hasn't

:26:57.:27:00.

changed in terms of saying, let's go for it, you can have the vote, it

:27:01.:27:10.

has moved the priorities of how things will sound in Scottish is and

:27:11.:27:13.

look to Scottish eyes higher up the table than they were a few weeks

:27:14.:27:14.

look to Scottish eyes higher up the ago. Thank you very much for joining

:27:15.:27:15.

us. And that's the end of this

:27:16.:27:16.

edition of Reporting Don't forget that special programme

:27:17.:27:18.

on Brexit beginning after this. From all of us, to quote the EU

:27:19.:27:22.

President Donald Tusk when he received the Prime Minister's

:27:23.:27:24.

letter, thank you and goodbye.

:27:25.:27:29.

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