The first ministers of Scotland and Wales have held a joint press conference in Westminster following the latest Brexit defeat for the Government. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I want to see a general election. I would be very happy to see that general election before Christmas, but the circumstances of that have to be such that it doesn’t open the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

“I think all responsible opposition MPs who want to see an election have a duty to make sure that that is the case.”

She added: “I think voters want to see a way out of this and certainly voters in Scotland do.”

Ms Sturgeon said her preference is a “longer extension to allow the issue to be resolved by putting it back in the hands of the electorate”.

She added: “I hope the European Union agree to a longer extension, at the very least an extension until the 31st of January next year.”

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Ms Sturgeon said the extension “should not just be long enough to scrutinise a bad Bill for a week or two longer”.

She added: “It should, in my view, be long enough to allow a general election or a referendum, or, perhaps more realistically, the former leading to the latter.

“That seems to me to be the only route out of this mess for the UK.”

Her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford said he wants a general election but that he does not think “a position of complete clarity” has been reached.

Ms Sturgeon said of the WAB: “This is quite simply a bad deal and a bad Bill. It is bad for Scotland, bad for Wales and bad for the UK.

“Indeed, the uniqueness of this event, the first ministers of Wales and Scotland, of different political persuasions, uniting in opposition to this deal is in itself a signal of how bad we believe it to be.”

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She added: “So, as Welsh Assembly members made clear yesterday, and as I expect members of the Scottish Parliament will also make clear, we do not consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

“When that happens, of course, it will be the first time in the history of devolution that both Scotland and Wales will have refused to give legislative consent to a Bill that affects us both.

“The question for the Prime Minister is this – how will he respond to that? And the answer to that for Scotland will have long-term consequences.” 

Outlining the steps for the future, she said the SNP will make their decision when they know what will happen regarding an extension and when they have “clarity about the intentions of the Prime Minister”.

Mr Drakeford said: “I have always been agnostic on whether a general election or a referendum is the best way to get this decision put back in the hands of the people.

“But I’ve never been anything but clear that that should be the end, the end objective.”

He added: “What I want to see is this decision put back in the hands of the people who made it in the first place.

“If a referendum comes our way we should grab it with both hands. If a general election comes our way first, I absolutely want a general election.”