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by Tom Freeman
24 January 2019
'No sign of compromise' in Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May Brexit talk

Nicola Sturgeon outside Number 10 - PA

'No sign of compromise' in Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May Brexit talk

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emerged from Downing Street last night accusing the Prime Minister had shown "no sign of compromise".

A Downing Street spokesman said the Scottish and Welsh first ministers had been invited to attend a Cabinet sub-committee on preparing for Brexit.

The meeting came after Theresa May promised to give the devolved administrations an "enhanced role" in the Brexit process.

However, the terms of the deal brokered between the Prime Minister and the European Union remains largely unchanged, despite being overwhelmingly rejected by MPs in a Commons vote.

Speaking outside Downing Street, Sturgeon told reporters: "It seems to me her priority is trying to win support from the DUP and the hardline Brexiteers in her own party rather than genuinely trying to compromise to bring others on side.

"It seems to me she's putting all of her eggs in the basket of trying to win over the DUP and the ERG (European Research Group) - playing to the right-wing hardline Brexiteers which, unless something fundamental changes that I can't see right now, is destined to fail.

"It's also taking the entire country and Scotland in particular down the wrong road, one that's going to be devastating for our economy and, particularly around free movement, deeply damaging to Scotland's population and therefore our economy in the long-term."

Earlier in Prime Minister's Questions, May had ruled out giving Scotland a referendum on independence in the wake of Brexit.

"Scotland held a referendum in 2014. It was legal, fair and decisive, and the people clearly voted for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom," she said.

"More than that, at the last general election, the people of Scotland again sent a very clear message that they do not want a second divisive referendum, but the SNP sadly is out of touch with the people of Scotland and has not yet heard that message.

"The last thing we want is a second independence referendum. The United Kingdom should be pulling together, and should not be being driven apart."

Responding, Sturgeon insisted the SNP had a mandate to hold one, having won successive elections since 2014.

"Theresa May fears she would lose an independence referendum and is clearly running scared of the verdict of the Scottish people - who must be sick and tired of being told what the prime minister wants," she said. 

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