We'll pay to help European Union citizens stay, insists Nicola Sturgeon

Leo Varadkar held talks with Nicola Sturgeon before the first minister’s speech to business leaders in Dublin

While "it's not the SNP's policy" to push for a second Brexit referendum, "people didn't have a clear idea of what they were voting for", Sturgeon said.

"We will consider the timing again when we have more clarity".

It is estimated around 20,000 European Union citizens work directly for Scotland's public sector, including the NHS, with many more employed in services such as social care.

"They haven't said what that fee would be, but if it's the same as it is for residents, it will be around £65 [around $85]", she added.

Only a month later, May called the snap general election in which the Scottish Conservatives claimed a dozen new seats and the SNP lost 21 of theirs.

Speaking as her party gathers in Glasgow for its annual conference, the First Minister raised the prospect of more votes before 2021.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has been offered talks with the Scottish Brexit Secretary on a Brexit deal referendum.

And she was adamant that "Scotland will become independent" in future.

Sturgeon is putting far greater emphasis on new domestic policies, including school reforms and heavier investment in education in deprived areas, a more radical climate strategy and a pledge to invest £500m above inflation into the NHS.

This includes meeting the costs any public sector workers might be charged to stay in the United Kingdom as a result of leaving the EU.

Polls suggest the next Scottish Parliament will not now have a majority in favour of a new independence referendum - potentially ending the SNP dream for decades.

It put the SNP on 42% of the constituency vote and 35% on the regional list vote for Holyrood, a 4.5% fall on the constituency vote and 6.7% down on the regional list. The SNP is 17 points clear of our nearest rival.

Sturgeon conceded her plans for a second referendum were "undoubtedly" a factor in her party's fall in support.

In her letter, the First Minister states the Scottish Government is "committed to working across parties and across sectors to best protect Scotland's interests".

Elsewhere in politics, The Sunday Times reports that Theresa May will reassert her authority with a cabinet reshuffle in which she is prepared to demote Boris Johnson - as she declared last night: "I didn't come into politics for an easy life".

Sturgeon also urged the Spanish government to negotiate a deal with the Catalans to allow a proper vote on independence.



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