May visits Scotland in fight for Brexit UK unity

May took office on Wednesday after David Cameron stepped down as premier in the wake of the June 23 referendum.

May visits Scotland in fight for Brexit UK unity

World Bulletin / News Desk

Theresa May was in Scotland on Friday on her first visit as Britain's new prime minister, bidding to maintain unity after a Brexit vote that revived Scottish independence ambitions.

May was received in Edinburgh by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has threatened another referendum on Scotland leaving the UK following Britain's seismic vote to quit the European Union.

The two leaders posed for photographs outside Sturgeon's residence before going in for talks that will set the tone for their relationship as Britain negotiates its path to the EU exit door.

The vote result sent shockwaves around the world and sparked fears of an economic downturn, with Britain potentially facing exclusion from Europe's single market -- a key concern for Sturgeon.

In heading swiftly to Edinburgh, May was emphasising her strong support for the union and for keeping Sturgeon's devolved administration involved in the Brexit negotiations, a Downing Street spokesman said.

"I believe with all my heart in the United Kingdom," May said in a statement Friday.

"This visit to Scotland is my first as prime minister and I'm coming here to show my commitment to preserving this special union."

Voters in Scotland backed Britain staying in the EU and nationalist leader Sturgeon eyes this as possible grounds for another independence referendum.

"Theresa May and I hold very different political views and we've got perhaps different views on what should happen now in terms of the Brexit vote," Sturgeon told STV television on Thursday.

"My position is that I respect how people in other parts of the UK voted; I hope the prime minister will respect how people in Scotland voted."

While 52 percent of voters across the UK backed leaving the EU, 62 percent in Scotland opted for Britain to remain in the bloc.

A day after the Brexit vote, Sturgeon said it was "highly likely" the country would hold a second independence referendum.

Two years ago, Scots voted to remain part of the UK.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Temmuz 2016, 16:40