Nicola Sturgeon has today warned the Prime Minister that the Scottish Government and other UK devolved administrations could derail the final Brexit deal as she stepped up calls to be involved in negotiations.
The First Minister has written to Theresa May insisting that the Tory Government must “broaden support” for the UK’s negotiating position after last week’s election saw the Prime Minister lose her Commons majority after going to the country to seek a Brexit mandate.
The SNP leader is demanding that the UK remains in the EU single market after Brexit, insisting that the Tory Government plan to leave this trading bloc “failed to garner support” last week.
Ms Sturgeon states in her letter to the Prime Minister that the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) on EU negotiations should be reconvened immediately, along with a cross party advisory group involving parties from across the UK devolved nations to “broaden support for the negotiating position.”
The SNP leader adds: “The negotiating team must include representation from the devolved governments. “It will not be possible for the UK to effectively implement the outcome of the Brexit negotiations without the co-operation of devolved governments.
“It is therefore essential that we are part of the negotiating process.”
Formal negotiations on the UK’s departure from the EU are scheduled to begin next Tuesday, although these may be delayed.
A majority of Scots voted to Remain in the EU, but the weight of votes south of the border swung the vote in favour of Leave.
Ms Sturgeon has pledged to “reflect” on the result in Scotland in relation to her plans for a second independence referendum after SNP support fell to just 37% with pro-union parties taking the remainder of the vote in Scotland.
She has called for a similar rethink from Mrs May on the Brexit issue.
“I have said that I will reflect on the election result in Scotland, listen to voters and consider carefully the best way forward and for Scotland,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“I hope that the UK Government, too, will reflect on what the election results mean for the importance of finding an outcome from Brexit that meets the needs and aspirations of all the people and nations of the UK.”
Copies of the letter have also been sent to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, DUP leader Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, the leader of Sinn Fein.