Nicola Sturgeon heads to London in bid to end Tory hard Brexit after #GE17 earthquake

Conservatives in disarray over attempts to pull together government with DUP

FIRST MINISTER NICOLA STURGEON will head to Westminster today to meet with SNP MPs and push for hard Brexit to be ditched, after a weekend of political turmoil since Thursday’s (8 June) General Election.

She will call for new promises on retaining membership of the EU single market and promises on EU nationals in the wake of the Tories liquidating their parliamentary majority and their mandate to pursue hard Brexit in negotiations with the EU

Sturgeon will meet with 35 MPs, down from 56 in the 2015 General Election.

She visits Westminster at a time of political chaos unprecedented in recent decades. Having failed to achieve the 223 seats necessary to form a majority, damaged Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to forge an alliance with the 10 hard right DUP MPs – Northern Ireland’s hard line unionist party, with radically conservative views. The party was founded by the fundamentalist protestant right to oppose any concessions to Irish Catholics in the six counties.

Sturgeon visits Westminster at a time of political chaos unprecedented in recent decades.

Ahead of her visit, Sturgeon said: “The strongest possible position in the Brexit negotiations will be one that is backed by all parties and all governments across the UK.

 “As a first step it is now imperative that the UK Government takes a short pause before beginning negotiations to work with others to put together a new position – one that is truly based on the interests of the whole of the UK. 

“The Tory position on Brexit does not carry popular support, is not backed by all four nations of the UK or a majority of MPs and any attempt to continue with it will be disastrous for Scotland and for Britain.

“A new position should be agreed swiftly between cross party representatives in Westminster and the democratically elected governments of all parts of the UK as well as both sides of the political debate in Northern Ireland.

“The Tory position on Brexit does not carry popular support, is not backed by all four nations of the UK or a majority of MPs and any attempt to continue with it will be disastrous for Scotland and for Britain.” Nicola Sturgeon

“At the same time the devolved governments must now be included in the negotiations and the Joint Ministerial Committee re-established.

“And at the heart of this position must be maintaining our place in the single market and in the customs union.  That is where common ground lies.”

The DUP is in talks to finalise its relationship with a new Tory administration. Talks had to stall during Sunday in accordance with the Sabbatarian views of many in the DUP. There was chaos as the DUP repudiated a confidence and supply deal the Tories claimed had been agreed on Saturday.

The SNP is hoping to use the political window to push six demands to change Brexit negotiations.

These include a short pause in the negotiation timetable and the creation of a new cross party, cross administration advisory group – including the views of both sides of the community divide in Northern Ireland.

May will meet with Tory party officials and backbenchers today, and is likely to hear criticism of her campaign and leadership

The two chief demands are membership of the single market and the immediate granting of the right to stay for EU nationals.

May, who has pledged to continue with her attempts to negotiate Brexit, despite the fragility of her government, will meet with party backbenchers and senior officials today to here criticism of her campaign. On Sunday she reshuffled her cabinet. Notable moves included the promotion of Brexiteer Michael Gove to environment secretary.

Picture courtesy of First Minister of Scotland

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