Sturgeon: May failed to offer Scotland 'new powers'

British Prime Minister Theresa May will press her case on Monday for a strong union in Scotland, using a visit to staff working on worldwide aid to say "there is no limit to what we can do" when Britain works together.

Sturgeon, the first woman to be appointed leader of the SNP as well as first minister, announced her intention to hold a second referendum on March 13.

She added that she reminded the prime minister that later this week she would be writing formally to ask the United Kingdom government to hand over the powers to stage that referendum in about two years' time.

There were no immediate comments from May on Monday but the Scottish leader described the meeting in Glasgow as "cordial and businesslike". However, after three days of prevarication, the Prime Minister made clear the request would be blocked, insisting "now is not the time".

"I think it makes it very hard for the prime minister to maintain a rational opposition to a referendum in the timescale that I have set out", Sturgeon told reporters after her meeting with the prime minister.

The hour-long meeting between the two leaders took place in a nondescript Crowne Plaza hotel room after May's office declined to meet in a more secure Scottish government building, according to Sky News.

An 18 month timetable would fit into Sturgeon's suggested timetable - and potentially give Scotland the ability to hold a second referendum before Britain leaves the EU.

Scottish government sources have ruled out staging or supporting an unofficial referendum, however, knowing that would be boycotted by pro-UK voters and risked being challenged in the courts.

This would appear to indicate that a referendum before 2019, as demanded by Ms Sturgeon, is unlikely.

"That is why the Plan for Britain I have set out - a plan to get the right deal for Britain overseas as well as a better deal for ordinary, working people at home - has as its heart one over-arching goal: to build a more united nation".

"It is that now is not the time to be talking about a second independence referendum and that's for a couple of reasons".

Due to visit staff from the Department for International Development in East Kilbride in southern Scotland before meeting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, May will also say Britain will not turn its back on the world as it negotiates Brexit.

By contrast, May told reporters she did not think Scottish people should be making a "significant decision until all the facts were known".

Mrs Sturgeon said: "I have said that I want people in Scotland to have an informed choice when the terms of Brexit are clear".

  • Leroy Wright