Theresa May's Brexit warm words have turned quickly into the cold shoulder for Scotland

WHEN Theresa May came to Edinburgh in that famous first “foreign trip” after becoming Prime Minister her message could be summarised in one word.

Respect.

She told journalists after speaking to Nicola Sturgeon in July: “I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations - I think it is important that we establish that before we trigger Article 50.”

So, she lied. It wouldn’t be the first time a Tory Prime minister broke promises to Scotland. But it still hurts.

This weekend May announced that she would trigger article 50 before next March. Scotland didn’t figure. There is no “UK Approach and objectives for negotiations”, as she had pledged in July. We are nowhere near that stage.

The UK haven’t even got round the table with Scotland to hammer out a deal. I know for a fact that since July the Scottish government has been persistently trying to establish how Scotland will feed into the Brexit process. They struggle to get an answer from Whitehall.

Under devolution agreements, the two governments meet via a “joint ministerial committee” called the JMC that includes Northern Ireland and Wales.

This committee is chaired by the UK who call it when it suits them. There is also an equivalent JMC on Europe. And there is talk - unconfirmed - of a special “Brexit” JMC. Not one of them has yet taken place.

Read the rest of my column here.


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