Scottish independence would be ‘economic disaster’ claims Boris Johnson

Scottish independence would be an “economic disaster”, Boris Johnson claimed yesterday while on a flying visit to Fife.

The Prime Minister said the nationwide response to the coronavirus pandemic had shown how the UK had “benefited massively from the might of the UK Exchequer” which enabled furlough payments during lockdowns.

And Johnson also attempted to play down the fall-out with his Conservative colleagues in Scotland – and insisted Douglas Ross was doing a “very good job” leading the party north of the Border.

But the PM faced ridicule yesterday from his political opponents by choosing not to meet with Ross or any other senior Scottish Conservative.

Johnson – who was visiting Rosyth dockyard – has faced repeated calls to resign from Tories north of the Border in the wake of the Partygate scandal.

Boris Johnson on a visit to Rosyth dockyard where he spoke out against independence
Boris Johnson on a visit to Rosyth dockyard where he spoke out against independence

Ross told the Prime Minister last month that numerous reports of social gatherings at No 10 during the height of lockdown meant hi position was no longer tenable – with Conservative MSPs agreeing.

But the PM was branded a threat to the Union by Labor and faced questions about whether he has any authority left in Scotland.

Johnson insisted that the response to the coronavirus pandemic has shown Scots that they are better as part of the UK.

“Just look at the experience of the last two years. Scotland and the whole of the UK has benefited massively from the might of the UK Exchequer, the UK Treasury, whether it is through furlough or any of the other things that we’ve done together,” he told the Scottish Daily Mail.

“I think most people could see that it would be an economic disaster to split up our country. That is why it is just not going to happen.”

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted her government will hold a second referendum on independence by the end of 2023.

The SNP argue they have a clear democratic mandate to do so after emerging as the party with most MSPs at last year’s Holyrood election.

The Nationalists subsequently signed a cooperation deal with the Greens which means there is a pro-independence majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

But Downing Street has repeatedly said the result of the 2014 referendum must be respected and that it has no intention of granting Holyrood the powers it needs to hold a legally-binding second vote.

Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar claimed Johnson was “a gift to the SNP”.

Responding to the PM’s Rosyth visit, Sarwar said: “This visit is a transparent attempt from Boris to save his own skin, but it’s clearly

“Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tories can hide from Boris all they like, but they can’t hide from the fact they campaigned to make him Prime Minister.

“The Tories in Scotland and across the UK are a gift to the SNP.

“They aren’t good enough to lead the UK and aren’t strong enough to take on the SNP.

“Every day that Boris Johnson remains Prime Minister he degrades the office. That’s why Labor will continue fighting not just to oppose the Tories, but to replace them.”

The Record has asked the SNP for comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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