Boris Johnson booed by protesters while visiting Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland

A ‘dangerous’ no-deal Brexit is now ‘almost inevitable’ with Boris Johnson in Downing Street, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.

The UK’s new Prime Minister was booed and heckled by protesters as he met for the first time with the Scottish First Minister’s at her Edinburgh residence today.

Mr Johnson insisted there was a ‘very good chance we can get a deal’ but accepted there was ‘no change’ in the position of EU leaders.

Brussels have been consistent that they will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement reached by Theresa May.

But Mr Johnson is adamant ‘there is amply scope to do a new deal and a better deal’. Ms Sturgeon said: ‘After my discussions with Boris Johnson, behind all of the bluff and bluster, this is a government that is dangerous.

‘He says publicly – and he said it to me again today – that he wants a deal with the EU, but there is no clarity whatsoever about how he thinks he can get from the position now where he’s taking a very hard line – the withdrawal agreement is dead, the backstop is dead.

‘If I listen to all of that and listen to what’s not being said as well as what is being said, I think that this is a government that is pursuing a no-deal strategy, however much they may deny that in public.’

The SNP leader added: ‘I think, if he were in this room right now, he would deny this vehemently, but I think he wants a no-deal Brexit.’

She spoke out as Mr Johnson made his first visit to Scotland since becoming Prime Minister, starting with a tour round the HMS Victorious nuclear submarine on the Faslane naval base on the Clyde.

He then went on to have meetings in Edinburgh with Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson – who has made plain her opposition to a no-deal Brexit – as well as the First Minister.

After his meeting with Ms Sturgeon, Mr Johnson left Bute House by the back door.
The new Prime Minister used his visit to insist there is ‘no reason’ for Scots to have the second independence referendum Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for and hit out at the SNP’s ‘campaign to destroy the union’.

He refused to unequivocally rule out granting Holyrood permission for a second independence referendum. But he said comments that the 2014 ballot was a ‘once in a generation’ event must be respected.

He added: ‘It was a once-in-a-generation consultation of the people, we did it in 2014 and the people were assured then that it was a once-in-a-generation consultation. 
‘I see no reason now for the politicians to go back on that promise.’

But Ms Sturgeon made clear her desire for Scots ‘to chart their own course and choose their own future’.

She told BBC News: ‘I made abundantly clear to Boris Johnson my opposition to Brexit and a no-deal Brexit, and also made it clear to him the people of Scotland should be able to chart their own course and choose their own future, not have that future imposed upon them.’

She said Mr Johnson had ‘set the UK on an almost inevitable path to a no-deal Brexit’.
Ms Sturgeon added: ‘The position it has taken makes it very difficult to see how any deal can be struck with the EU and I think that would be catastrophic for Scotland and the whole of the UK.’

A Number 10 spokesman said Mr Johnson told the First Minister ‘he was a passionate believer in the power of the Union and he would work tirelessly to strengthen the United Kingdom and improve the lives of people right across Scotland’

He added: ‘On Brexit, the Prime Minister said that while the Government’s preference is to negotiate a new deal which abolishes the anti-democratic backstop, the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31 come what may.’


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