LONDON (Reuters) – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cautioned on Monday that the United Kingdom could be heading towards a no deal Brexit that would have catastrophic consequences.
Speaking at Thomson Reuters in London, Sturgeon said she felt there was no majority for a hard Brexit in the country but that the United Kingdom was at a moment when momentum could swing either towards a softer Brexit or a no deal Brexit.
“At some point that majority for the least damaging Brexit, a softer Brexit, at some point has to assert itself,” Sturgeon said.
“The danger if I am being less optimistic, or pessimistic, is that the whole process crashes before that can emerge because time is running out and the clock is ticking,” she said.
“I guess there is a real risk — probably a greater risk today than there was three, six, nine months ago — of the whole process falling apart,” she said.
Sturgeon, who took the helm of the Scottish National Party after Scots voted to reject independence in a September 2014 referendum, said it was hard to see how the Irish border issue could be resolved without the UK staying in the customs union.
“There is a real risk of a no deal Brexit and that would be pretty catastrophic,” Sturgeon said.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Alistair Smout