Theresa May tells Sturgeon Brexit deal will strengthen UK

Theresa May held talks with Nicola Sturgeon
Theresa May held talks with Nicola Sturgeon
Have your say

The Brexit deal being sought at Westminster will "strengthen the union of nations" in the UK, Theresa May has told Nicola Sturgeon during talks, it has emerged.

Both leaders have also agreed to "work to reach an agreement" on the current Brexit deadlock between Holyrood and Westminster, a spokesman for the Prime Minister has said.

The two leaders spoke on the phone on Friday evening following the Prime Minister's flagship Brexit speech.

Mrs May's spokesman said the two leaders initially discussed the whiteout weather conditions affecting much of the UK.

Read more: Theresa May says Brexit deal 'must involve compromises'
The spokeswoman added: "The Prime Minister went on to say that she has set out a vision for an ambitious economic partnership between the UK and EU. Alongside the five foundations that would underpin the future partnership, she said we would seek customs arrangements that would lead to as frictionless trade as possible with our European neighbours, as well as ensure no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

"The new agreement we reach should protect the jobs and security of the British people and strengthen the union of nations in the UK.

“The Prime Minister then said we would be working closely with the EU to provide certainty for businesses within both the UK and Europe.

“The Prime Minister and First Minister discussed recent progress on Clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill and agreed both governments should continue to work to reach an agreement.

“They finished the call by saying that they both looked forward to furthering discussions during the Plenary meeting of the JMC (Joint Ministerial Council) on March 14.”

Read more; Nicola Sturgeon dismisses Theresa May’s Brexit vision as ‘bizarre’
The Scottish Government has already published its own Brexit Bill at Holyrood, setting out a legal framework for Scotland after EU departure, despite a warning it is outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. MSPs have warned they will reject the UK's Government's Brexit Bill amid concerns that it amounts to is a "power grab" on Holyrood. This is because powers being devolved from Brussels, which should come to Scotland under the devolution agreement, such as fishing and farming, being held at Westminster.

UK ministers say some controls must remain reserved to protect the integrity of the UK single market.