Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon told she was 'not bright enough' to understand May's deal

Jane Barlow / POOL / AFP

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon was told she “simply wasn’t bight enough to understand how good [Theresa May’s Brexit deal] was” in a meeting with the Prime Minister, a Scottish politician claims.

The exchange was revealed by Scotland’s constitutional relations secretary Michael Russell, who told Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee the incident happened in May, the last time she met with the prime ministers.

According to The Courier, he addressed the committee and said:

When I met the Prime Minister with the First Minister to discuss what we thought we might be discussing, and indeed this was what was being said publicly, we would discuss compromise positions.

What we actually heard was an explanation of why we simply weren't bright enough to understand how good her deal was. Obviously she wasn't either because her deal changed.

I must be honest about this, the Prime Minister is not a person who seems willing to listen to what the devolved administrations want to say, still less to compromise as a result of that.

Russell had been giving evidence to the committee in an inquiry about intergovernmental relations between England and Scotland.

A UK government source however, said May always treats Sturgeon with the “utmost respect” and that their interactions are anything other than that is “categorically untrue.”

This comes after Theresa May’s latest brexit deal was voted down, prompting a Commons vote on whether the UK should opt for a no-deal outcome.

For her part, Sturgeon is increasingly fearful of a no-deal brexit, and the problems that could cause.

Speaking at a speech in Georgetown University in the US, she said: “As a result of that, there is a real and growing risk that the UK will leave the EU in 53 days’ time without any deal in place.”

And that would be hugely damaging – far more so, dare I say it, than the Government shutdown you’ve just had here in the United States. In fact, some of the contingencies being considered – if we leave the EU without a deal – are genuinely astonishing.

You can follow The Independent’s live coverage of Brexit here.

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