Scotland's concerns must be addressed before triggering article 50, says Theresa May
Theresa May to seek 'UK approach' to Brexit before triggering Article 50
Theresa May has said the UK will not trigger Article 50 to begin the process of leaving the European Union until there is an agreed “UK approach”, taking into account the concerns of Scotland.
May met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today at Bute House to discuss Scotland's role in the negotiations.
The new Prime Minister said the meeting had been “very constructive and positive”.
She suggested Westminster would try to agree a common approach with the devolved administrations before invoking Article 50, which begins a two-year window to negotiate the UK’s terms of leaving the EU.
"I'm willing to listen to options and I've been very clear with the First Minister today that I want the Scottish government to be fully engaged in our discussion,” May said after the talks in Edinburgh.
"I have already said that I won't be triggering Article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations.
“I think it is important that we establish that before we trigger Article 50."
Sturgeon has begun talks with EU figures about how to keep Scotland inside the EU, given a majority of its population voted Remain in the recent referendum, and has already begun preparatory work on a second independence referendum as she studies ways to stop Scotland leaving the EU.
But May said a re-run of the 2014 vote was not on the agenda.
“The Scottish people had their vote, they voted in 2014 and a very clear message came through. Both the United Kingdom and the Scottish Government said they would abide by that,” she said.
“We now have the challenge, though, as the United Kingdom to ensure that we can get the best possible deal for the whole of the United Kingdom from the EU negotiations when the UK leaves the EU.
“I’m very clear that the Government I lead will be for all parts of the United Kingdom and for all people.”
In response, Sturgeon warned that Westminster would not be able to block a referendum if it was demanded by the Scottish people.
"If it proves not to be possible to fully protect Scotland’s interests through the UK process then the Prime Minister knows that a second independence referendum is of course on the table," she said.
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