Reports surfaced this past weekend that Theresa May is now “too important” to meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and that the First Minister will only be “allowed” to meet with Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell.
This latest action from the Prime Minister and her government is rank with hypocrisy.
How valuable is Scotland to the “precious Union” of our countries if its democratically elected leader is not good enough for the Prime Minister?
How does hiding away from the devolved administrations create strength and stability throughout the United Kingdom?
By placing herself on higher footing and refusing to engage with Nicola Sturgeon, Theresa May does not just look down on the First Minister, but all Scots, proving once again this Tory-led government is out of touch with Scotland and tone deaf to how these actions demonstrate a lack of care and consideration for Scotland.
This is evidenced further by a complete lack of engagement with both the Scottish and Welsh governments on Brexit. As the country hurdles towards a disastrous deal that could cost tens of thousands of Scottish jobs, Theresa May and her ministers continue on without a care for what Scotland’s representatives have to say.
Indeed, there was no consultation with the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) – which was set up to ensure communication between the UK and devolved administrations – before the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill was revealed.
Even the House of Lords has recognised this, saying the UK Government should use the JMC to reach “common positions on key matters affecting devolved competencies in time to inform the UK Government’s negotiating position”.
In Theresa May’s pettiness, we see weakness. And try as she might to undermine the likes of Scotland and ignore our leaders, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will fight for the people of Scotland.
The Scottish Government is working proactively with the Welsh Government to reject the EU repeal bill and protect devolved powers.
SNP MPs and MSPs have called out the Tory government’s move to snatch EU powers that should rightfully be devolved. There has been not a word on this matter from Conservative MPs and MSPs, not even Ruth Davidson and David Mundell, who promised greater powers for Scotland post-Brexit.
We have not seen much better from Labour. Jeremy Corbyn incorrectly stated the UK cannot have single market membership without remaining in the EU and is whipping his MPs to keep single market membership off the negotiating table.
This seems counter to Labour’s “jobs first Brexit” approach, as it is exiting the single market that will squander 80,000 jobs in Scotland.
By contrast, the SNP has strongly advocated for continued single market membership to protect jobs and investment. It is the SNP government that is doing the job politicians of all parties should be: protecting and advancing the interests of Scotland.
The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is already having negative effects on the Scottish economy and housing market according to PwC. Theresa May’s childish antics, like refusing to meet with the First Minister, do nothing to help. It is time for the Prime Minister to get serious, work with the devolved administrations properly, and mitigate Brexit’s impact on jobs and the economy.