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Scots and UK governments discuss Brexit

Scots and UK

The former leader of the Scottish Conservatives has warned Nicola Sturgeon to “simmer down” in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

Baroness Goldie branded the first minister’s response to the result “seriously misjudged”.

The Tory peer – who was succeeded by Ruth Davidson – insisted the SNP leader had no mandate to try to keep Scotland in Europe.

She said Ms Sturgeon had a responsibility to do all she could to ensure Scotland’s best interests were at the very heart of the leave negotiations.

But she added: “That involvement can only be as part of the UK.

“Now her Ecosse charm offensive, clicking her stilettos round the corridors of Brussels, may assist these negotiations.

“She is a formidable communicator, but her role and her responsibility is to keep the Scottish dimension at the forefront of the UK negotiations, not to go off on some diplomatic exit frolic of her own.”

An SNP source said it was “a bit rich” for any Tory to be lecturing on the topic given the party was the “architect” of Brexit and its economic consequences.

Baroness Goldie made the comments during a House of Lords debate on the outcome of the EU referendum.

She said she had backed Remain, but on the basis the UK would be the member state.

“That was the question before me,” she added.

“So when Nicola Sturgeon says she has a mandate to try and keep Scotland in Europe, I say simmer down, you have nothing of the sort.”

Baroness Goldie said that – combined with the 2014 Scottish independence referendum – she had now lived through “two doses of corrosive referendum acrimony”.

She added: “What is Nicola Sturgeon’s healing and measured contribution to this crisis? She wants to prepare for another independence referendum.

“It is a seriously misjudged response. It may reflect the Scottish National Party’s interests. It profoundly disserves Scotland’s national interest.”

She said the 1.6 million votes in Scotland for the UK to remain in the EU did not “cancel out” two million votes to stay in the Union.

She added: “We may have made a decision to leave one union. That decision is precisely the reason why we must strain every sinew to protect and preserve our remaining UK Union.”

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