Theresa May to visit Scotland in push to preserve "special union"

New Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Scotland today in her first official visit to show commitment to preserving the United Kingdom.
New Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Scotland today in her first official visit to show commitment to preserving the United Kingdom.
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New Prime Minister Theresa May's first official visit is to Edinburgh for a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon to highlight her commitment to the United Kingdom.

Mrs May will meet the First Minister of Scotland at Bute House to discuss her drive to ensure Scotland stays in the UK following a Brexit that vote revealed most Scots wanted to remain in the EU.

Despite the terror attacks in Nice last night, it is understood the visit will still go ahead with Mrs May having been updated regularly throughout the night and a message of support sent to French President Francois Hollande.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident on what was a day of national celebration."

Speaking ahead of the visit to Scotland, the Prime Minister said: “I believe with all my heart in the United Kingdom – the precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This visit to Scotland is my first as Prime Minister and I’m coming here to show my commitment to preserving this special union that has endured for centuries.

“And I want to say something else to the people of Scotland too: the Government I lead will always be on your side. 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.

“That’s because I believe in a union, not just between the nations of the United Kingdom, but between all of our citizens. Whether it’s reforming the economy or strengthening our society, we are going to build a better Britain and a nation that works for everyone – not just the privileged few.”

Nicola Sturgeon made clear the circumstances of leaving the EU could warrant a second independence referendum.

In Mrs May's first address outside No 10 Downing Street on Wednesday she said "union" had two meanings for her - the unity of the UK but also the bringing together of all classes.

She said: "Not everybody knows this, but the full title of my party is the Conservativeand Unionist Party. And that word unionist is very important to me.

It means we believe in the union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But it means something else that is just as important, it means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom, but between all of our citizens, every one of us, whoever we are and wherever we are from.

"That means fighting against the burning injustice that if you’re born poor you will die on average nine years earlier than others."