Theresa May Visits Scotland as Polls Show Low Confidence in Post-Brexit Economy

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shake hands after signing the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal at the University of Edinburgh on August 7. Jane Barlow/Reuters

Prime Minister Theresa May visited Scotland on Tuesday to meet First Minister Nikola Sturgeon, who has urged the U.K. to find an alternative to avoid Britain's exit from the European Union without a plan.

May's visit also comes amid previous polls from Scotland that show little confidence in Britain's strength in a post-Brexit era. Sixty-one percent of Scotland believed that the U.K. leaving the European Union will result in the economy suffering, according to an Ipsos MORI poll from March. The poll also revealed that 47 percent of the Scottish public is against the idea of holding another independence referendum within three years.

The two were expected to talk about Brexit as a no-deal situation. May previously met with French President Emmanuel Macron in hopes of working toward a deal with the European Union.

"It's important that as we work on this deal, we are working with those in Scotland to deliver for Scotland," May said following the meeting. "A good deal for the U.K. is a good deal for Scotland."

Officials from May's own government have cast doubts about a Brexit deal coming to fruition. Boris Johnson and David Davis, two of the deal's biggest backers, resigned in early July after they disagreed with the direction of Brexit plans.

Liam Fox, the U.K.'s international trade secretary, has previously said that he thinks that there is a "60-40" chance that the U.K. will not be able to make a deal with the European Union.

Sturgeon has always been a firm opponent of Brexit. "With every day that passes, the prospect of a no deal Brexit or a Brexit with very, very little information about the future relationship seems to become more and more likely," she told the BBC.

"The U.K.-wide vote to leave the EU is one that I deeply regret," Sturgeon said in a statement following the passing of the Brexit referendum.

The Scottish first minister has also called on May to explain what her plan is if the European Union does not agree with the terms of a Brexit deal.

"I hope she will outline her plan B, because we cannot simply take a step off that Brexit cliff-edge next March without knowing what comes next," Sturgeon also said prior to the meeting.

Although Brexit talks were expected to be one of the main topics of conversation, the official reason for May's visit was to announce the signing of a city deal investment package for the southeastern area of Scotland.

"As we leave the EU, the U.K. government is working in partnership with business, academia and the devolved administrations to create more good jobs and spread economic prosperity across the country," May said.

The governments of both Scotland and the United Kingdom have committed nearly $400 million toward the deal, which is worth a little over $1.5 billion.

"By making the most of our country's assets and the talents of all of our people, we can build a brighter future for the whole U.K.," May said.