First Minister meets the Prime Minister

PM “willing to consider options” on EU.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has held constructive talks with the Prime Minister Theresa May at Bute House.

The First Minister welcomed the Prime Minister to Edinburgh on what was her first official visit since coming into office.

Following the meeting, the First Minister said:

“It was a constructive and very good discussion.

“The Prime Minister and I have big political disagreements but we are both women who approach business in a similar way, so I think we can have a good working relationship not withstanding those political differences.

“I was very pleased that Theresa May said that she was absolutely willing to consider any options that the Scottish Government now brings forward to secure Scotland’s relationship with the European Union. The process that is now taken forward by the UK Government will be open and flexible and the Scottish Government will be fully involved in that.

“These negotiations have yet to take shape and the UK Government don’t yet know exactly how they will proceed from here, but there is an agreement that Scottish Government officials will be very closely involved in discussions to give shape to this process and will be involved in that process. Crucially, and this is the most important point from my point of view, is that that process will be open to considering options that the Scottish Government brings forward.”

The First Minister reiterated to the Prime Minister that she will make sure Scotland’s interests are protected and she will continue to examine every option possible, including a second independence referendum. She added:

“I’ve said previously that if we want to protect our relationship with the European Union then Scotland may have to consider becoming an independent member. If it proves not to be possible to fully protect Scotland’s interests through the UK process then the Prime Minister knows that a second independence referendum is of course on the table.

“However, I’ve also been consistently clear that I want to examine all options for protecting Scotland’s position, protecting our interests, protecting our relationship with the EU. That’s why I’ve assembled a team of experts that will advise me on the options that might exist, and it was very important today to get a commitment from the Prime Minister to listen to options that the Scottish Government will bring forward.”

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