Scotland, Wales want action from PM May on Brexit proposals

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May chairs a Joint Ministerial Committee attended by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (3rd R) and Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones (5th R) at Cardiff City Hall, Wales, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Ben Birchall/Pool

EDINBURGH Scotland and Wales want the British government to prove it is taking their proposals seriously after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union put them at loggerheads with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Scotland must have a choice over its future if Brexit does not represent its interests, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said following a meeting between May and the heads of Britain’s devolved governments in Cardiff.

“The UK government must now show they are prepared to do more than just listen to the devolved governments and demonstrate how they will incorporate our positions – and represent our interests – in their plan to reach a UK-wide agreement (over Brexit),” Sturgeon said in a statement.

“We must see a clear indication from the UK government that there will be a major transfer of powers to the Scottish parliament once the UK leaves the EU,” added Sturgeon, whose party supports independence for Scotland.

Scotland, one of the United Kingdom’s four nations, voted to keep its EU membership in last year’s referendum while Britain as a whole voted to leave. Wales also voted to leave but the Welsh government has lobbied for Britain to keep its EU single market membership, something that the prime minister recently ruled out.

In a statement the prime minister’s office said considerations of the Welsh and Scottish proposals for Brexit were an “ongoing process” which needed to be intensified.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones told the BBC: “The Prime Minister herself said this isn’t a talking-shop and I hold her to that.”

(Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; editing by Stephen Addison)

 

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