May opens talks to keep Scotland's "special union" after Brexit

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed British Prime Minister Theresa May to her official Edinburgh residence on Friday, launching talks on Scotland's future with Britain following the latter's decision to leave the European Union.

May said earlier that the meeting at Bute House was aimed at preserving Scotland's "special union" with the rest of Britain following the June 23 referendum for a so-called Brexit.

More than 60 per cent of Scottish voters chose to remain in the EU inthe referendum, prompting calls for a second vote on Scottish sovereignty. The country had rejected independence from Britain in a referendum in September 2014.

Ahead of her meeting with Sturgeon, May said she believes "with all my heart in the United Kingdom – the precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."

"I'm coming here to show my commitment to preserving this special union that has endured for centuries," she said in a statement.

May was confirmed Britain's new prime minister on Wednesday. Her predecessor David Cameron resigned after he failed in his months-long campaign to convince a majority to vote against Brexit and stay in the 28-member political bloc.

"And I want to say something else to the people of Scotland too: the government I lead will always be on your side," May said.

"Every decision we take, every policy we take forward, we will stand up for you and your family – not the rich, the mighty or the powerful."

Scottish National Party leader Sturgeon has set up a group of legal, economic, business and diplomatic experts to advise her on "securing Scotland's relationship with the EU."

"Scotland's voted clearly for Remain and I'm determined that Scotland's voice will be heard," Sturgeon told the Scottish parliament on June 28.

"The [referendum] result leaves me profoundly disappointed and concerned," she said.

Last update: Fri, 15/07/2016 - 15:39

More from Europe

'Many dead' in hotel after avalanche in Italy quake zone

Some 30 people are trapped and many feared dead in a mountain resort hotel that was buried by what rescuers...

One dead after central Italy hit by series of quakes

One person was killed on Wednesday when a building collapsed during four powerful quakes that shook central Italy on...

Boris Johnson compares French president to WWII prison guard

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday compared Francois Hollande to a World War II prison guard after...

Merkel pledges to hold Europe together after Brexit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Wednesday to hold the European Union together after Britain's planned...

Slovenia looks to capitalize on its connection to Melania Trump

As Donald Trump campaigned for the Oval Office, his Slovenian-born wife Melania did not receive much love and...