First Minister warns Theresa May must drop hardline Brexit stance

Prime Minister Theresa May must drop her hardline approach to Brexit if she wants to make progress with Nicola Sturgeon in crunch talks.

A spokesman for the First Minister said previous pledges from Downing Street to involve Holyrood in the process have amounted to “warm words and platitudes.” Mrs May’s current “red lines” over a No Deal are unlikely to yield progress, he added.

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Mrs May pledged to give Scotland a greater say in the process as part of efforts to reach a Commons majority.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images

The First Minister will hold talks with Mr May in London on Wednesday, along with Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to discuss Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon’s spokesman said he does not expect anything “hugely significant” to come out of the meeting, despite Mrs may promising greater engagement with the devolved administrations in a statement to the Commons yesterday.

“We’ve heard that kind of thing in the last number of years - it hasn’t so afar amounted to very much at all,” the spokesman said.

“But the First Minister will go along and we’ll see what comes out of that.”

The Scottish Government has been frustrated at Mrs May’s approach on the impact of EU departure on Scotland.

“We’ve put forward proposals for the past two and a half years which have pretty much been ignored or rebuffed,” the spokesman added.

“Every time that there’s an undertaking to involve the devolved administrations and take on board what we say, it’s pretty much warm words and platitudes rather than anything significant or substantial.

“Maybe the Prime Minister is in a different place now, but the evidence so far suggests not. Since the vote last week she’s talked about engagement with other parties and speaking to other parties which she has done, but what she hasn’t done is taken any of her red lines off the table.

“She appears to be saying `let’s talk about this, let’s find away through this’ but I’m not going to shift any of my positions at all which is not exactly a recipe for progress.”