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Downing Street meeting 'cordial'

Sturgeon and May edge closer after Brexit bill talks

Sturgeon and May at Downing Street

Theresa May greets Nicola Sturgeon on the steps of Downing Street 

Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May moved closer to settling their differences over the Brexit bill after the First Minister received assurances on a “significant increase” in powers for the Scottish parliament.

Ms Sturgeon stressed that no agreement had been reached with the Prime Minister but said the talks had been “cordial” and “constructive” and provided the “conditions” for reaching agreement.

Ms Sturgeon, who travelled to London seeking safeguards on Scotland’s post-Brexit powers, emerged from the Prime Minister’s residence to deliver a cautiously positive message to the waiting media.

“That was a better meeting, it was certainly better than some of the meetings we have had previously.

Sturgeon and May Downing St

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Talks may have provided conditions for agreement’

“It was cordial, it was constructive. We were both able to set out frankly our positions on the Withdrawal Bill.

“Now, that doesn’t mean agreement will follow, but perhaps it provides the conditions now for reaching agreement in the period ahead.”

She added” “I made very clear, as the Scottish Government has done consistently, that the Withdrawal Bill as it stands would not be acceptable and we would not be able to recommend approval of that.”

Downing Street issued a statement which made reference to previous assurances that Scotland would expect to get more powers once Britain leaves the EU.

It said: “The Prime Minister reiterated that as powers are repatriated from Brussels back to Britain
there will be a significant increase in decision-making powers for the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations.

“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.”

Downing St sources said the Prime Minister told Ms Sturgeon that her priority was “to provide certainty to businesses and people both in Scotland and across the country, as well as protecting our UK internal market.”

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