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Sturgeon warns Johnson over no-deal Brexit in first talks

The First Minister and new Prime Minister held a phone conversation on Thursday night.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned the new Prime Minister that the Scottish Government will continue to strongly oppose a no-deal Brexit.

Boris Johnson spoke with the leaders of the devolved administrations on Thursday evening.

The new Tory leader also held calls with the First Minister of Wales as well as the leaders of Northern Ireland’s two main parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister and Prime Minister spoke by telephone on Thursday evening.

“The First Minister congratulated him on his appointment before reiterating the Scottish Government’s strong opposition to a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

“She confirmed that the Scottish Government will continue to make every possible preparation for no deal as long as it remains a threat, but urged the Prime Minister to change course and avoid this.

“The First Minister highlighted the Scottish Government letters sent to the Prime Minister since his appointment and committed to discuss the details in due course.”

A spokesman for the UK government said: “They had positive discussions.

“The PM has set out that he is going be the leader for the whole of the United Kingdom and he wants to unite the country and unleash the productive power of every corner of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Johnson had told the first meeting of his new Cabinet on Thursday that – as promised during his leadership campaign – he would be taking the title of ‘Minister for the Union’ alongside that of Prime Minister.

The spokesman said: “It is a statement of his commitment to the strengthening of the union and the value he places upon it.”

Sturgeon’s Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford also warned Johnson he would face stiff resistance if he sought to leave the EU without an agreement with Brussels.

Mr Drakeford made it “emphatically clear” that a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic” and cause “profound damage”, a spokesman for the Welsh First Minister said.


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