NICOLA Sturgeon has again underlined her concerns that Theresa May’s Brexit deal will put Scotland at a competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland.

The First Minister took to Twitter to raise her fears again yesterday after Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley was quoted by a Belfast newspaper saying it would put the region in an “unrivalled” position of attracting global investment.

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Commenting on the Irish News report, the SNP leader tweeted: “Confirmation from the UK Government that its Brexit deal would put Scotland at a competitive disadvantage. I support whatever it takes to preserve peace in NI – but this comment shows why Scotland can’t afford to be taken out of EU single market. If NI can stay in, so must we.”

The First Minister has been calling for Scotland to have a bespoke Brexit arrangement – allowing it to remain in the European single market and customs union – since the Scottish Government published its first Scotland in Europe proposals two years ago.

She stepped up her case last December after plans emerged for Northern Ireland to get a differentiated arrangement, allowing it close alignment with the EU in order to prevent the need for a hard border with the Republic.

But the UK Government refused to raise the option in its talks with the European Commission, despite some European politicians, including the senior MEP Guy Verhofstadt, suggesting they would be open to it.

May yesterday accused Labour of planning a “betrayal of the British people” by voting down her Brexit deal and pushing the country towards a no-deal departure from the EU.

With less than a fortnight to go to the historic House of Commons vote on her plan, the Prime Minister urged all MPs – including 100 or more Tories who have said they may rebel – to cast their vote “in the national interest” and back a deal which she said would deliver Brexit while protecting jobs.

In a round of broadcast interviews in Argentina, where she is attending the G20 summit, May declined to discuss whether she might offer a Plan B if her deal is voted down on December 11, or whether defeat could mean her resigning or being forced out.

“It’s not about me,” said May. “This is about what is in the national interest.

“It’s about delivering the vote to leave the EU and doing it in a way that protects people’s jobs and livelihoods and protects our security and our United Kingdom.”

Her comments came after a cross-party group of senior MPs tabled an amendment to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal if May’s plan fails to win the support of the Commons.

The amendment, put down by a group of committee chairs, including Labour’s Hilary Benn and prominent Tory Sarah Wollaston, calls for the Commons to be able to express its views about what should happen if May’s deal is voted down.

Speaking at the G20 in Buenos Aires, European Council president Donald Tusk said May’s Withdrawal Agreement is “the only possible one” and voting it down will either lead to a no-deal Brexit or no Brexit at all.

He told reporters: “The European Union has just agreed an orderly divorce with the United Kingdom.

“A few days before the vote in the House of Commons it is becoming more and more clear that this deal is the best possible – in fact the only possible one.

“If this deal is rejected in the Commons we are left with, as was already stressed a few weeks ago by Prime Minister May, an alternative: no deal or no Brexit at all.”

Asked whether she was putting pressure on Tory MPs to fall in behind her plan, May said: “Obviously we’re talking to colleagues about this vote. I think we should remember that we gave the vote to the British people as to whether or not to leave the EU. People voted for Brexit and I think it’s up to us to deliver Brexit. The message I get from members of the public is that they want the Government to do that, they want us to deliver Brexit and we want to do it in a way that protects people’s jobs.”