Prime Minister Theresa May rules out Scottish veto over Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May has refuted claims that Scotland’s devolved government will have the power to veto negotiations for the UK to leave the UK, blocking Brexit.

The Conservative PM said she will listen to Scotland’s concerns, but she will not allow them to veto agreements over how Britain will exit from the EU.

Her comments follow Nicola Sturgeon’s calls on Tuesday (27 September) for more detail on how the British government plans to prevent a “hard Brexit” deal that could cause severe damage to the UK economy.

Speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of the start of the Conservative conference in Birmingham, May said: “What I am very clear about is that, as we look into these negotiations, we will fully engage the Scottish government in the discussions that we have, in preparing what position the UK is going to take.”

However, when asked directly if Scotland could have a veto over Brexit, May said: “The United Kingdom will have a position in the negotiations and we, as a United Kingdom government, will be negotiating with the European Union.”

May’s stance will mean the UK’s devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland won’t be able to slow or hinder the process of EU withdrawal.

However, Scotland’s First Minister has made clear that she will be pushing for Scottish independence following the “undemocratic” EU vote.

Nicola SturgeonScotland’s First Minister Nicola SturgeonJeff J Mitchell/ Getty Images

Speaking to business leaders on Tuesday (27 September), SNP leader Sturgeon said: “In many ways, EU membership is now part of Scotland’s sense of itself.

“I’ve made it clear that a referendum on Scottish independence must remain an option, if the approach taken by the Westminster government proves to be seriously damaging to our economy, our competitiveness and to our place in the world.”

Scottish voters rejected independence in 2014, but they voted to stay in the bloc in June’s historic EU referendum, 62% to 38%.

May told the BBC: “There are two questions you can ask about a second [independence] referendum in Scotland: One, ‘Could there be?’ And that’s a process issue.

“I think the real question is ‘Should there be another referendum in Scotland?’ My answer to that is overwhelmingly ‘no’.

“There should not be second referendum in Scotland.”

Former First Minister Alex Salmond recently announced his prediction that Nicola Sturgeon will hold a second Scottish independence referendum in autumn 2018.

Theresa MayBritish Prime Minister, Theresa May is under pressure to detail the government’s plans for BrexitReuters

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