Sturgeon: Brexit Bill not acceptable in current form

Mainstream media in predictable meltdown over Alex Salmond's RT show

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to meet Prime Minister Theresa May for talks in London on Tuesday.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the United Kingdom government had to make changes to its European Union withdrawal bill before her devolved government in Edinburgh would agree to back it, but said she was hopeful progress could be made.

Sturgeon warned there was "still a long way to go" but suggested they were edging towards a deal for the first time, ending a impasse which threatened a major crisis over May's Brexit plans.

"I made it very clear that the bill as it stands will not be acceptable and we would not be able to recommend approval".

Ms Sturgeon said: "It was better than some meetings we've had before".

"Now, that doesn't mean that an agreement will follow but perhaps it provides the conditions for reaching agreement in the period ahead".

'This is a woman who sits in meetings where it's just the two of you and reads from a script, ' Ms Sturgeon said.

According to a Downing Street spokesman, May told Sturgeon that "it remains her priority to provide certainty to businesses and people both in Scotland and across the country, as well as protecting our United Kingdom internal market".

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Conservative MPs are plotting with Labour to thwart key parts of the EU Withdrawal Bill as it returns to the Commons today.

With Britain's divorce from the European Union now dominating the agenda, both leaders are adopting far more conciliatory stances and inching slowly towards an agreement, so Sturgeon can recommend that the Scottish parliament approves the Brexit bill in a so-called legislative consent motion.

A spokesman added: "They spoke about progress in agreeing principles on common frameworks at the recent joint ministerial committee, and the Prime Minister reiterated that as powers are repatriated from Brussels back to Britain there will be a significant increase in the decision-making powers for the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations".

It is thought they will also discuss the upcoming United Kingdom budget and concerns about sexual harassment in politics.

"The Prime Minister encouraged the Scottish Government to continue to work with counterparts to secure the best outcome for the people of Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom".

In September, the first minister said in an interview with New Statesman that prior meetings with Mrs May were "very frustrating", saying she had found it "impossible to get any human connection" with the prime minister.

Ms Sturgeon distanced herself from claims by Tommy Sheppard, a high-profile SNP MP, that she will automatically demand a second independence referendum if Brexit is pushed through without Holyrood's consent.

"But we also agreed - and for me, this is the most important aspect of this as well - having robust procedures in place is important".

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