EDINBURGH (Reuters) - An agreement to keep Northern Ireland in “regulatory alignment” with the European Union after Brexit could be replicated in other parts of the UK, Nicola Sturgeon, the head of Scotland’s devolved pro-independence government, said on Monday.
Earlier, Irish government sources said the British government had agreed to maintain such alignment for Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK but shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state.
“If one part of the United Kingdom can retain regulatory alignment with the European Union and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can’t”, Sturgeon said on Twitter.
In the 2016 referendum in which the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU, a large majority of Scots voted to remain in the bloc. The British government has so far ruled out any special Brexit deal for Scotland that would reflect that.
The devolved Scottish government has been campaigning for the UK to stay within the European single market and customs union, and had originally argued that Scotland could stay in the single market even if the rest of the UK left the trading area.
Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary, editing by Estelle Shirbon