Scotland politics

PM Theresa May to meet Scotland's FM Nicola Sturgeon on Friday

Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon
Image caption Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon are due to meet in Edinburgh on Friday morning

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will meet new Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday morning in Edinburgh.

The pair are expected to discuss June's referendum in which the UK voted to leave the EU but Scotland did not.

The first minister told the BBC the onus was on unionists to prove Scotland's interests can be protected as part of the UK after Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon said she hopes for a constructive relationship with Mrs May.

Theresa May took over from David Cameron on Wednesday evening.

Speaking to Reporting Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said she would first congratulate the new prime minister on her appointment.

However, she said: "Everyone knows we have deep political differences but we both have a duty to the people we serve.

"That's the approach I will take into the meeting and I hope it is reciprocated."

'Onus of responsibility'

She added: "I am determined to protect Scotland's interests - many of our interests are now at risk because of the Brexit vote.

"The question is can I do that through the UK processes.

"It may reach a conclusion that independence is the only way to protect those interests.

"For those who advance the UK there is an onus of responsibility in light of the referendum to demonstrate that the UK is capable of protecting Scotland's interests.

"I'm determined to find options within the UK context and process to do that.

"I've been open that it may be the best or only option to consider if we want to be an independent country and that's a decision Scotland would have to take if we get there."

'Precious, precious union'

Earlier on Thursday, new UK Chancellor Philip Hammond dismissed the idea that Scotland could arrange a separate EU deal.

Speaking to BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, the Conservative MP said the best place for Scotland was within the UK economy outside the European Union.

He added: "Let's make this United Kingdom economy work for all of us and let's negotiate with the European Union from outside the European Union a relationship which works for Britain and works for Europe so that we can have as close a relationship in trade and commerce as we possibly can, while being outside the European Union as the British people determined we should be."

At her first address outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, Mrs May said that the "union of the nations of the United Kingdom" was very important to her.

She added: "Not everybody knows this, but the full title of my party is the Conservative and 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 just as important - it means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom, but between all our citizens, every one of us, whoever we are and wherever we're from."

More on this story