Ruth Davidson suggests Theresa May ready to change Brexit strategy

In a sign of her confidence about her new-found power, Davidson went public on Saturday to say she had sought and received cast-iron guarantees from May that the Conservative deal with the Democratic Unionist party would not lead to any retreat on gay rights or equal marriage policy.

The Scottish Tories had their best election result since 1983 last week, returning 13 MPs, after the party's Scottish leader, Ruth Davidson, ran an autonomous campaign which sidelined May. But while she might be a straight-talking, sweary breath of fresh air for some, her refusal to get behind the Brexit vote puts her squarely against the United Kingdom majority, and on the side of the Remainer anti-democrats.

She has been asked repeatedly since a disastrous election that saw the SNP lose 21 MPs, including Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson, the party's Westminster leader, if she will now take indyref2 off her agenda.

The First Minister called for a "short pause" in Brexit negotiations in order to secure a cross-party, four nation agreement - a suggestion that was quickly swept aside.

European Union leaders have repeatedly said membership of the single market is linked inextricably with the freedom of movement principle which allows workers to move around the bloc freely.

The shortfall has opened a debate about May's Brexit plans, which include leaving the EU's single market, striking a new customs deal and limiting immigration from Europe. She described this as about ensuring that "we increase freedoms rather than increase barriers; it is about making sure that put free trade at the heart of what it is we seek to achieve as we leave".

She declined to comment further on Monday. But one lawmaker said May recognised that a broader consensus needs to be built during Monday's meeting with Conservative members of parliament.

After winning 13 seats in Scotland - 12 more than the previous tally - and denting nationalist First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans for independence, she is now an influential voice following Britain's general election.

Separately, the minister representing Scotland in May's cabinet, David Mundell, said the final Brexit deal should be supported in Britain's parliament across the political divide. "In Scotland we do come from a liberal tradition, we were a separate party at one time, and I would expect them to carry that tradition into the House of Commons and I look forward to their progress".

Meanwhile, The National shows First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meeting her MPs at Westminster and writes that she has questioned the United Kingdom government's ability to negotiate Brexit as she called for talks to be paused following the general election.

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