It can't have escaped your notice that the unionist media are trying to present Nicola Sturgeon with a false binary choice - either she has a 'veto' over Brexit, or she will be 'locked in' to an agreed UK negotiating stance by cunning Theresa May. You can see why they want that to be true, because either of those options would effectively preclude a second indyref. But in reality, the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes - the UK government will consult, but won't offer a veto, and there is therefore no guarantee (or even any great likelihood) of the Scottish Government signing off on the UK's negotiating stance. Here is one possibility of what Sturgeon might say at the end of the consultation -
"As you know, I and other Scottish Government ministers have been taking part in extensive discussions with our UK counterparts over the forthcoming negotiations with the EU. Theresa May indicated to us that she would listen carefully to any suggestions we might have about ways of ensuring Scotland's interests are fully protected.
We made two substantive proposals. Firstly, that the UK should reconfigure itself as a decentralised confederal union to allow constituent nations like Scotland and Northern Ireland to stay in the EU, in line with how they voted in the referendum. I regret to say that Theresa May and David Davis rejected that suggestion out of hand. They reiterated that, in their view, "Brexit means Brexit, and when the UK leaves, Scotland must leave".
Our second, alternative proposal was that the UK as a whole should seek to remain in the European Economic Area on the same basis as Norway. This possibility is far from ideal, because it would still involve Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will. But it would at least address our most serious concerns about Brexit, because Scotland would remain part of the Single Market, and our rights as European citizens, including the right to live and work in other EU countries, would be fully protected. We made clear during the discussions that this is the absolute minimum that would be acceptable to us.
Unfortunately, Theresa May and David Davis indicated that they would be rejecting even this. They felt that they had received a clear instruction from the electorate that free movement of people must end, and that they could not negotiate on that principle.
Let me be clear : I and the Scottish Government fully respect the mandate secured by the Leave campaign on June 23rd. But that mandate is not a UK mandate. It is an England and Wales mandate. Just as we respect that England and Wales mandate, so must the UK government respect the overwhelming Scottish mandate for Remain. For us, Remain means Remain.
It is now clear that, in spite of our best and most strenuous endeavours, there is no formula acceptable to both governments that can reconcile the two conflicting mandates. While we are grateful to the UK government for being true to their word and listening to our proposals, I'm afraid listening is not enough. As they do not feel able to compromise, I must tell you that we will be opposing the UK government's negotiating stance on Brexit. There will be no 'agreed UK negotiating position' that enjoys the support of the Scottish Government. We will instead intensify our preparations for an independence referendum, which is now inevitable, although we remain open-minded about the timing."