Theresa May heads to Scotland for Sturgeon talks before triggering Article 50

Mark Sands
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Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May will head for Scotland today for crunch talks with first minister Nicola Sturgeon as she bids to save the union ahead of triggering Article 50.

May will meet with Sturgeon in the latest stage of her tour of the devolved nations at the beginning of a landmark week for the country.

May will also give a speech heralding the importance of the Union and speaking with Sturgeon, the Prime Minister is expected to reiterate her message that “now is not the time” to push for an independence vote.

The Scottish parliament will resume debate on a second referendum on Tuesday, with MSPs expected to back calls for a vote between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

Read More: Single Market membership "the minimum" for Scotland: Sturgeon

Downing Street will also lay out plans for the UK's post-Brexit legal shakeup on Thursday with a white paper, just one day after May formally kickstarts Brexit by triggering Article 50.

The white paper will lay out how the government plans to convert the "acquis communautaire" of European laws and obligations into British statutes in the aftermath of Brexit.

And with May set to trigger Brexit talks, business groups are still keen to stress their own early priorities for negotiations.

Read More: Gordon Brown has offered up a third "patriotic" option for Scotland

British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall said his members want to see an early commitment to simultaneous exit and trade talks. It is a priority shared with CBI deputy director general Josh Hardie, who adds that commitments on EU workers based in the UK must happen “as soon as possible”.

Institute of Directors deputy policy director Edwin Morgan added that May must also seek a guarantee of no “vacuum period” between leaving and a new trade deal being agreed.

It comes as figures from IHS Markit shows growing pessimism at a household level, with more than half of British households seeing negative long-term impacts from Brexit.

Just 29 per cent of UK households said they expected a positive long-term impact on the economy.

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