RISHI Sunak is to make his first official visit to Scotland as Prime Minister amid rows over the constitution and gender reform.

The PM is expected to travel north later today and meet Nicola Sturgeon. 

It is understood the two-day trip was scheduled to take place before Christmas, but delayed.

Mr Sunak is expected to confirm the site of the first two green freeports north of the border, with Cromarthy and the Firth of Forth heavily tipped to be chosen.

The PM and the First Minister met for the first time in November in a bilateral on the fringes of the British Irish Council in Blackpool.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon and Rishi Sunak hold 'constructive and cordial' talks

The talks were described as "constructive and cordial", with Ms Sturgeon telling the Prime Minister she was "ready and willing" to negotiate a path to a second independence referendum.

Liz Truss infamously said she wanted to ignore Ms Sturgeon, as she was an “attention seeker”, and never had a phone call with her during her fleeting stint as PM.

Mr Sunak, both in the Tory leadership contest last summer and since entering Number 10, has tried to strike a more diplomatic tone.

However he has been just as firm as his predecessors in refusing Ms Sturgeon’s request for Holyrood to have the power to hold Indyref2.

He is expected to hold up the Treasury-funded freeports as an example of the positive work of the Union on his visit.

Ms Sturgeon has said she will fight the next general election as a de facto referendum on independence unless the UK Government changes its mind and agrees to a traditional referendum on the lines of 2014.

The SNP is due to hold a special conference in March on how such an election would be fought in practice.

The Scottish and UK Governments are also at loggerheads over the Gender Recognition Refom Bill passed by MSPs just before Christmas.

READ MORE: Former Advocate General weighs into Holyrood gender reform row

Intended to simplify the process for a trans person to obtain a gender recognition certificate, it proved highly controversial at Holyrood, with critics warning it could undermine women's single-sex spaces.

The UK Government has said it could exercise a previously unused power under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 to stop the Bill becoming law by denying it Royal Assent because of its impact on UK equality law.

The Scottish Government has said it would fiercely resist such a move - suggesting a high-profile court battle may be looming.  

The UK Government has until the middle of next week to decide whether to make a Section 35 order, and the issue is almost certain to feature prominently in the talks between Mr Sunak and Ms Sturgeon.