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Davidson swaps baby for Brexit as she returns to the frontline

Scottish Tory leader ends six months of maternity leave at this weekend's party conference.

Davidson: Six months since having baby.
Davidson: Six months since having baby.

Ruth Davidson will return to work tomorrow just over six months after having a baby.

She had expected the first part of Brexit to be done and dusted by now, leaving on March 29; but when Theresa May was handed a six-month extension, the Scottish Conservative leader must have thought of asking Donald Tusk for an extension to her maternity leave.

I spoke to her ahead of the party's conference in Aberdeen and she urged the Prime Minister to compromise to get her deal through the House of Commons.

She seemed confident that the talks between the UK Government and Labour were approaching some kind of breakthrough next week, after the English council elections are out of the way.

She says: "I absolutely accept that there has to be willingness to move on the Conservative side as well as the Labour side ... in order to get a deal through the Commons there will need to be ground given."

In the past, Davidson has supported staying in the EU Single Market. Asked what ground she expects the Prime Minister to give, she says she is "not part of the negotiating team and doesn't think it helps if people like her start shouting from the sidelines".

But she does not agree with a confirmatory or People's Vote on the deal.

And talking of referendums, I asked Davidson if she was scared of another vote on Scottish independence.

She said: "No, I am ready to fight it. I just don't think we should have one."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1437476-ruth-davidson-pm-must-give-ground-to-pass-brexit-deal/ | default

Right now, though, I don't think anyone is ready to fight another independence referendum. The First Minister said on STV last week that she hopes to hold a vote by the end of next year - by then we should know what Brexit looks like.

Until we do, we don't know when or if there will be another independence referendum.

So far, Davidson has seemed insulated from the worst of the Brexit fallout. I'm not suggesting for a minute she planned her maternity leave around Brexit, but it has kept her out of the political fray for the worst of times for her party and the Prime Minister she says she still supports.

On Saturday she will step back on to the political frontline, swapping babies' nappies for something equally smelly. Welcome back to Brexit politics.

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