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Ruth Davidson: PM must give ground to pass Brexit deal

The Scottish Conservative leader spoke to STV News as she returns to frontline politics.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has warned the Prime Minister she will need to give ground to Labour on Brexit in order to get her deal through parliament.

Returning to frontline politics from maternity leave, Davidson urged Theresa May to compromise amid ongoing cross-party talks with Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking to STV's political editor Colin Mackay, she also said she was willing to a fight a second independence referendum if it happened.

It comes ahead of Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen, where Davidson will close the conference on Saturday following an address by the Prime Minister on Friday.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1432243-scottish-tory-leader-ruth-davidson-gives-birth-to-boy/ | default

She told STV she continues to "absolutely support" May, having previously backed her successful bid to replace David Cameron as party leader and PM in 2016.

Davidson said: "She has been handed a really tough job to do and she's done it with the levels of tenacity we would expect of her.

"I think at the moment there are conversations going on between Labour and the Conservatives in London.

"The mood music that is coming out of that room is that there may well be a breakthrough this week and I really want to see it, because we know more than anyone in Scotland that sometimes the divisions after referenda are bigger than the divisions before, and we've got into really entrenched positions.

"My view through all of this is that we're going to have to meet somewhere in the middle: between the people who want to overturn the referendum and re-run it, and those who want a no-deal Brexit."

'In order to get a Brexit deal through the House of Commons, there will need to be ground given.'
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson

Pressed on if the Prime Minister would need to compromise on her own position, the Scottish Tory leader insisted May's deal is the "only deal that has already been pre-approved by the EU".

"It has to be the basis for the conversations that happen. That's just the way it needs to be, in terms of the machinations of this," Davidson said.

"But in terms of a willingness to move, I absolutely agree that there needs to be a willingness to move on the Conservative side as well as the Labour side."

She added: "In order to get a deal through the House of Commons, there will need to be ground given."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1437462-may-sturgeon-should-get-on-with-day-job-not-indyref2/ | default

Davidson dismissed Nicola Sturgeon's demand for a second independence referendum, citing events after the First Minister attempted to call one in 2017.

May responded to Sturgeon's request for the power to hold a fresh independence vote by telling her "now is not the time".

The Prime Minister then held a snap election that year which led to the SNP losing 21 seats and the Scottish Tories gaining 12.

Asked if she was "scared" of a second independence vote, Davidson answered: "No, I'm ready to fight it, but I don't think we should have one.

"In fact, I've said all along, I would quite happily never see another constitutional referendum on Brexit or independence in my lifetime, because I think these sort of binary questions on complex issues push people into tribes and are damaging for the body politic and for political discourse in this country."

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