David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister and Theresa May’s de facto deputy, said he hoped political differences with the First Minister could be put aside to support a package he believes will safeguard jobs and investment. Mr Lidington met with members of the financial sector in Edinburgh yesterday, but he said a request for talks with Scottish ministers had been declined.
He said: “Overall this is a package that will work for the prosperity and security of everybody in Scotland and the whole of the UK.
“I think there will be an important choice for the Scottish government and for Scottish MPs at Westminster. Employers in all sectors want a deal and they want the stability and the certainty and the clarity that will bring.
“I hope that despite the political differences which do exist, and which I respect, that the First Minister will decide to put the interests of Scottish business, living standards and prosperity in Scotland first and support this deal.”
Ms Sturgeon has said provisions for Northern Ireland in the Brexit deal would leave Scotland at a competitive disadvantage.
She claimed the offer of a meeting had come in at short notice and she was not willing to cancel other commitments “to yet again have to hear empty platitudes