GLASGOW Oct 13 Scotland's First Minister Nicola
Sturgeon will seek to unite and lead political opposition
throughout Britain to any "hard Brexit", according to a speech
to be given on Thursday.
She will tell her Scottish National Party's (SNP) conference
that the path taken by Prime Minister Theresa May since Britain
voted to leave the EU in June - which has seen heavy falls in
the pound - is one of "economic recklessness."
"The (Conservatives) are holding (the referendum result) up
as cover for a hard Brexit that they have no mandate for - but
which they are determined to impose, regardless of the ruinous
consequences," she will tell the conference, which opens on
"Brexit has become Tory (Conservative) Brexit," Sturgeon
will tell the SNP, by far the dominant Scottish party at
Westminster with 56 of Scotland's 59 seats in the UK parliament.
Scotland voted 62 percent to 38 percent to stay in the EU.
"I suspect that many of those who voted to Leave (the EU)
now look at the actions and rhetoric of the (British government)
and think 'that's not what I voted for'."
Sturgeon will seek to head a group of opposition lawmakers
including Labour and Liberal Democrat parliamentarians, as well
as some members of May's own Conservative Party, she will say.
May has vowed to restore sovereignty and increase controls
over migration, leading to a growing perception that Britain is
on course for a "hard" Brexit where restricting immigration
takes priority over retaining access to Europe's single market.
Britain's government has a working majority of just 16 seats
in the 650-seat Westminster parliament.
However, uniting opposition to a hard Brexit will be a tall
order. The main opposition Labour Party has been consumed by
infighting over its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who is supported by
its membership base but not by senior party members.
Some of Sturgeon's own SNP party supported leaving the EU,
according to opinion polls carried out earlier this year.
Sturgeon will also tell delegates in Glasgow that the SNP
will vote against the "Great Repeal Bill" which is designed to
end the European Union's legal supremacy in the UK by converting
all EU laws into British law as soon as Britain leaves.
The bill is expected to be introduced to parliament next
The prospect of leaving the EU has upset many Scots,
including some of those who voted "no" to an independent
Scotland two years ago because they feared independence would
mean losing EU membership.
Polls indicate, however, that Brexit has not significantly
boosted support for Scotland to split from the rest of the UK
either. The SNP says the possibility of a fresh referendum
following the Brexit vote should be an option for Scotland.
(Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; Editing by Dominic Evans)