Nicola Sturgeon describes talks with Theresa May as 'constructive'

Nicola Sturgeon describes talks with Theresa May as 'constructive'
From BBC - November 14, 2017

Scotland's first minister has described her face-to-face talks with the prime minister as "constructive and cordial".

But Nicola Sturgeon said she and Theresa May had "not yet" reached an agreement over the UK government's Brexit bill.

Mrs May indicated in September that she wanted to speak to Ms Sturgeon in a bid to break the deadlock between the two governments over Brexit.

The two leaders met for about 45 minutes inside 10 Downing Street.

It came as MPs started to examine the EU Withdrawal Bill, a key piece of Brexit legislation which is at the heart of a dispute between the Scottish and UK governments.

The Scottish and Welsh governments are refusing to put the bill forward for legislative consent in their respective parliament unless changes are made.

They argue that the changes are needed to prevent a Westminster "power grab", as the bill would return responsibilities in devolved areas such as agriculture from Brussels to London rather than to Edinburgh or Cardiff immediately after the UK leaves the EU.

The UK government insists that the devolved administrations will be given a "significant increase in powers" after Brexit - but has not specified exactly what these powers will be.

Speaking as she left the talks, Ms Sturgeon said she had "not yet" heard anything from Mrs May that made her think she could now recommend that Holyrood gives its consent.

But she said: "We developed a better understanding of each other's positions, and I made clear that the Scottish government wants to find agreement on the withdrawal bill.

"We oppose Brexit, but we understand withdrawal legislation is necessary, so we want to find agreement.

"But I also made clear what our bottom lines are on that bill, so discussions will continue and hopefully we can reach some points of agreement in the weeks to come."

Ms Sturgeon said the prime minister had also updated her on the wider EU negotiations, with the first minister saying it had been "useful to hear her views on that".

'Provide certainty'


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