Nicola Sturgeon not ruling out SNP-Labour coalition at Westminster

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Scotland’s First Minister has left open the possibility of forming a coalition government with Labour if a snap general election was called in Westminster.

Asked if she would be prepared to form a Labour-SNP coalition if an election is triggered, Nicola Sturgeon said she would be “ready to work with other parties” to oppose the Conservatives’ Brexit plans.

However, a spokesman for Scottish Labour said there would be “no deal, no pacts and no coalition with the SNP”.

She reiterated calls for Theresa May to rule out the UK leaving the EU without a deal and for a second Brexit referendum to be held.

The SNP leader again pledged to set provide an update on the issue of a second Scottish independence referendum “within weeks”.

Asked if she would be willing to go into coalition with Labour at Westminster if the results of a snap election enabled this, she told Greek newspaper Ta Nea: “We will be ready to contest any general election if one is called, and we would also be ready to work with other parties to oppose the Conservatives’ hugely damaging Brexit proposals.”

She said the Prime Minister’s announcement of a vote on delaying the Brexit date until after March 29, if passed, opens the way for building the case for a second Brexit referendum.

“I believe such a vote would be justified because it has become increasingly clear that people did not have nearly enough information when they voted in 2016 – and because the UK Government and Parliament have been completely unable to turn the Leave vote into a workable and deliverable deal”, she said.

“Amid the chaos and confusion of Brexit, I think it is clearer than ever that Scotland’s interests are not being served by a Westminster system that too often treats Scotland as an afterthought rather than an equal partner in the union.

“As First Minister, I will set out my thoughts on the issue of independence and a referendum in the coming weeks, once it becomes clearer what path the United Kingdom will go down.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “We will be campaigning to win a majority at the next general election with policies to end austerity and invest in Scotland and the UK, and there will be no deals, no pacts and no coalition with the SNP.

“Labour has a credible plan to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit, and protect jobs and industries, so it was disappointing that the SNP abstained when we put it to a vote in the Commons in the week.”

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