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May to Offer Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland Talks with Brexit Minister

(Reuters) – Representatives of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments will get a chance to tell Brexit minister David Davis how they hope Britain’s future relationship with the EU will work, under plans the government announced on Monday.

At a meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May will offer the leaders of the three devolved governments, which have varying degrees of autonomy, formal discussions on Brexit at least twice before the end of the year, her office said.

“The country is facing a negotiation of tremendous importance and it is imperative that the devolved administrations play their part in making it work,” May said in a statement her office released before the meeting.

“The new forum I am offering will be the chance for them all to put forward their proposals on how to seize the opportunities presented by Brexit and deliver the democratic decision expressed by the people of the U.K.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, has said her government is preparing for all possibilities including independence after Britain leaves the EU.

Scots voted by a large margin to remain in the bloc and Sturgeon has said Scotland wants to keep as many of the advantages of membership of the EU’s single market as it can and is looking for a bespoke deal to do so.

The British government has said it will negotiate a one-size-fits-all Brexit deal on behalf of the whole United Kingdom.

May, who has dismissed labels such as “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit” for describing how clean a break Britain makes with the EU, will also tell the devolved leaders no final decisions have been taken on the EU exit strategy, and that how Britain leaves the bloc will not boil down to a binary choice.

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