Boris Johnson has ‘every right’ to be in Scotland says commentator
The Prime Minister has landed in Scotland for a day-long visit to highlight co-operation. He will spend the day touring locations focused on aiding the UK’s vaccination drive. But he has been met with a flood of criticism from the Scottish government.
What is the Prime Minister doing in Scotland?
The Prime Minister’s official purpose in Scotland is to highlight “co-operation” between the UK’s home nations.
Ahead of his trip, he said in an official statement he wanted to encourage the “strongest possible recovery” from Covid-19 and highlighted central Government help over the border.
He said: “The great benefits of co-operation across the whole of the UK have never been clearer than since the beginning of this pandemic.”
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“We have pulled together to defeat the virus, providing £8.6bn to the Scottish government to support public services whilst also protecting the jobs of more than 930,000 citizens in Scotland.
“We have a vaccine programme developed in labs in Oxford being administered across the UK by our armed forces, who are helping to establish 80 new vaccine centres across Scotland.
“That’s how we are delivering for the people of Scotland so we can ensure the strongest possible recovery from the virus.”
But his trip comes at a critical time for the UK, as polls show growing support for Scottish independence.
Although it received Westminster funds, Scotland has largely handled the Covid pandemic on its own.
The country’s leadership has its own variant of the regional lockdown system which it updates without interference from the UK’s central Government.
The increased sovereignty, coupled with the country’s significant pro-Remain demographic dealing with Brexit fallout, has accelerated calls for independence.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has not scaled back her drive to leave the union amid the pandemic, with support swelling past 50 percent in some polls.
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Scotland will hold local elections on May 6 this year with the rest of the country, which seems likely to provide the SNP with a larger majority and mandate for an independence referendum.
Early polls show nearly 55 percent of people could back the party this year, which would greenlight their path to prizing their country from Westminster.
Mr Johnson has long expressed his desire to deny Scotland another referendum, leading people to dub his latest trip part of a “Tory fightback” against growing anti-union sentiment.
The SNP has now published an 11-point path to another referendum, which sets out how they intend to proceed.
The plan states a “legal referendum” could take place with enough SNP support after the pandemic.
They would hold a vote “in the early part of the new term”, meaning some time between this year and 2026.
But Mr Johnson has said he is prepared to deny any referenda, raising constitutional questions about the plan.
The SNP has said it would “vigorously oppose” attempts by Westminster to deny a vote.
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