Sturgeon renews ultimatum despite ‘constructive’ talks
NICOLA Sturgeon yesterday renewed her threat to derail Brexit following crunch talks with Theresa May.
The First Minister said that despite a ‘constructive’ and ‘cordial’ meeting with Mrs May the pair had failed to ‘reach an agreement’ on the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The two leaders met in Downing Street yesterday for the first time since formal Brexit negotiations began in March in an effort to break the deadlock over key legislation.
The Scottish Government is refusing to put the Bill forward for legislative consent at Holyrood unless changes are made, with SNP ministers arguing that as it stands the Bill would allow Westminster to launch a ‘power grab’.
However, the UK Government has refuted this claim, with officials insisting that the Scottish parliament will be given a number of new powers.
Yesterday’s meeting, held following an invitation from the Prime Minister, lasted around 45 minutes.
Afterwards, Miss Sturgeon Deputy Scottish Political Editor insisted they had ‘developed a better understanding of each other’s positions’ but she had ‘not yet’ heard anything from the UK Government that made her think she could recommend that Holyrood gives the Withdrawal Bill its consent.
Miss Sturgeon said: ‘We want to find agreement. But I also made clear what our bottom line is on that Bill, so discussions will continue and hopefully we can reach some points of agreement in the weeks to come.’
A Number 10 spokesman said Mrs May emphasised to Miss Sturgeon that ‘as powers are repatriated from Brussels back to Britain there will be a significant increase in the decisionmaking powers for the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations’.
He added: ‘The Prime Minister encouraged the Scottish Government to continue to work with counterparts to secure the best outcome for the people of Scotland and the whole of the UK.’
Meeting: Mrs May and Nicola Sturgeon at No 10 yesterday