Brexit Chief Heads to Scotland to Discourage Independence Moves

  • Meets Scottish counterpart to reach U.K.-wide Brexit position
  • Theresa May to hold further talks with U.K. regional leaders

David Davis.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Brexit Secretary David Davis will travel to Scotland on Friday as Theresa May’s government seeks to agree a U.K.-wide negotiating position for exit talks with the European Union.

His trip follows warnings from Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon that failure to deliver a Brexit deal that works for Scotland would lead her to take another stab at independence. In Glasgow, Davis will meet his Scottish administration counterpart, Michael Russell, to discuss priorities for exit negotiations set to begin before the end of March.

Click here for an explainer on why the Scots dream of breaking free.

While Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU there’s still concern among the electorate about whether withdrawing from the three-centuries-old U.K would damage trade among other things. Sturgeon is due to travel to London next week for talks with May and the leaders of the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland, according to a senior official who declined to be named.

Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party government has said it wants Scotland to remain inside the EU’s single market for goods and services. The Scottish government on Thursday published a draft bill on a second independence referendum after Sturgeon promised a new vote if May’s exit strategy puts Britain outside the single market.

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