Scottish leader reaches out to Germany in bid to stay in EU


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BERLIN (AP) — The head of the Scottish government has reached out to Germany, the European Union's most populous member, as she tries to keep Scotland in the bloc — and is arguing that Scotland should be able to remain part of the EU without leaving the United Kingdom.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told German broadcaster ARD that "because we are in unprecedented circumstances, we should be prepared to think about unprecedented solutions. And that's the spirit that I will have in any discussions."

The U.K. as a whole — which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — voted narrowly to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum, but voters in Scotland voted by a wide margin to remain in the 28-nation bloc.

"I would have thought it was very positive for the wider European Union for a part of the United Kingdom, if not the whole of the United Kingdom, to want to stay and continue to be part of the European family of nations," Sturgeon said on Tuesday.

The Scottish leader, who already has traveled to Brussels to press the same argument, met in Berlin on Tuesday with Germany's deputy foreign minister, Michael Roth. He is responsible for European issues at the German Foreign Ministry.

Sturgeon reiterated her stance that a new referendum on Scottish independence from the U.K. remains "one option" for Scotland to stay in the bloc.

Roth said the meeting was a "very pleasant and constructive conversation between two dedicated pro-Europeans."

"I hope that the U.K. finds a way forward that will benefit Europe as a whole in the end," he said.

Prime Minister Theresa May's new British government hasn't yet formally set in motion the process of leaving the EU, and it remains unclear what future relationship it will seek with the bloc.

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