Theresa May will offer the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland a "direct line" to her Brexit Secretary in a bid to quell any surge in separatism. The prime minister is expected to table the proposal at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) at Downing Street today (24 October).

The move would see a new forum created and chaired by David Davis, allowing the likes of Nicola Sturgeon, Arlene Foster and Carwyn Jones to play a greater role in the UK's exit from the EU.

"I am determined that as we make a success of our exit from the EU, we in turn further strengthen our own enduring union," May said.

"The great union between us has been the cornerstone of our prosperity in the past – and it is absolutely vital to our success in the future.

"The country is facing a negotiation of tremendous importance and it is imperative that the devolved administrations play their part in making it work.

"The new forum I am offering will be the chance for them all to put forward their proposals on how to seize the opportunities presented by Brexit and deliver the democratic decision expressed by the people of the UK."

If accepted, the first meeting of the sub-committee will be held by the end of November and at least more gathering will be held by Christmas ahead of May triggering Article 50 – the official mechanism to leave the EU – by March 2017.

Number 10 also stressed that no final decision had been taken by the government on how the UK splits from economic bloc, amid fears the government will pursue a so called "hard Brexit".

May's move comes after the SNP accused her of treating Scotland with "contempt" because she failed to give secretaries of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland permanent seats on her European Union Exit and Trade Committee.

But Scotland Secretary David Mundell, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, and Northern Ireland's James Brokenshire will be attending the JMC.

Sturgeon has tabled a second Scottish referendum bill at Holyrood just two years after. Scots rejected separatism in 2014, with more than 55% of the electorate backing a No vote.

May, meanwhile, attended her first EU Council meeting last Thursday and Friday. There was little talk of Brexit apart from the UK prime minister's mention of the issue during a working dinner and talks with European Council President Jean Claude Juncker on the sidelines of the summit.