UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to Scotland has been branded a ‘day trip’ that demonstrates her “arrogant attitude to Scotland”.
The trip, which consisted of a set-piece event in an Ayrshire factory that was closed to the public, was over before lunchtime when the Prime Minister headed to Newcastle.
Footage posted on social media showed the Tory leader being shepherded into a waiting vehicle in order to avoid meeting members of the public. She was whisked off after spending less than an hour at a textile factory.
Commenting on the visit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s one year to go until the UK is set to leave the EU. To mark the occasion, Theresa May has made a flying visit to Scotland.
“The Prime Minister’s trip is so brief that she’s also visiting Newcastle, Wales and Northern Ireland – and all before teatime.
“This arrogant attitude to Scotland from Tory Prime Ministers is nothing new. But since the EU referendum, it has been the cornerstone of this Tory government’s approach.”
The PM’s message to Scots, that she would “keep the UK united after Brexit”, has been interpretted by some as conceding that Brexit will result in a second independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon has already made clear a decision on when to hold a second referendum will be made only when the outcome of Brexit talks become clearer.
The SNP has accepted Brexit is going to happen, despite the people of Scotland voting to remain in the EU, however the party continues to press for membership of the Customs Union and the Single Market to be maintained. Membership of both will be key to determining when the Indyref2 trigger is pulled.
The PM’s visit coincided with the publication of a new paper by the Scottish government detailing the impact of Brexit on people in Scotland. The paper was accompanied by videos giving examples of the impact Brexit will have.
Nicola Sturgeon added: “Whether you voted Remain or Leave, there’s one thing that is very clear: Brexit will affect almost every aspect of our daily lives in some way or another.
“Whether it is our NHS, our economy, jobs or even the cost of a holiday – Brexit will undoubtedly have an impact.
“Tory and Labour elites would have us believe that the important decisions on Brexit have already been made for us, regardless of the impact on you and your family.
“I refuse to accept that our future has been decided for us. Scotland’s voice cannot simply be brushed aside.
“A day trip from the Prime Minister just won’t cut it. That’s not leadership.”
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