Nicola Sturgeon will publish her plans for a separate Scottish Brexit next week

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will next week publish her long-awaited proposals to keep Scotland in the single market, even if the rest of the UK leaves.

In an emailed statement last week, Michael Russell, minister for UK negotiations on Scotland’s place in Europe, said that the Scottish government would set out proposals “in the next few weeks that will keep Scotland in the single market … even if the rest of the UK leaves.”

The First Minister’s spokesman has now confirmed to the Herald that the plans will be published next Tuesday, and said “you can expect a fair amount of activity around it.”

Scotland is pro-Remain territory, having voted to stay in the EU by a margin of 62% to 38% in the June referendum, and Sturgeon’s SNP believes it has the mandate to negotiate a separate exit deal north of the border, in order to avoid a “hard Brexit.”

Russell said: “Brexit is by far the biggest threat to Scotland’s jobs, prosperity and economy, and that is why we have always been clear that remaining members of the EU — and members of the world’s largest single market — is the best option for our future.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has already ruled out a special deal for Scotland, but Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is “willing to listen to options” on Scotland’s future relationship with the European Union.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We are determined to get a good deal for all parts of the UK as we leave the EU.

“We look forward to seeing proposals from the Scottish Government and will consider them carefully.”

Nationalists hope that if the country is pulled out of the EU on May’s terms then Sturgeon will have the mandate to call a second independence referendum, but the prime minister also appears to have ruled that out, telling Sturgeon in Edinburgh that voters sent a “very clear message” in 2014.

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