Saturday 17 August 2019

Sturgeon warns new PM is 'driving Scotland towards no-deal disaster'

Meeting: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomes UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Edinburgh. Photo: PA Wire
Meeting: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomes UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Edinburgh. Photo: PA Wire

Katrine Bussey

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned that Boris Johnson's "hardline" government is driving Britain towards "disaster" by pushing for a no-deal Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon made the comments as Mr Johnson made his first visit to Scotland since becoming prime minister last week.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with Mr Johnson yesterday, the Scottish First Minister said: "The people of Scotland did not vote for this Tory government, they didn't vote for this new prime minister, they didn't vote for Brexit and they certainly didn't vote for a catastrophic no-deal Brexit, which Boris Johnson is now planning for.

"Boris Johnson has formed a hardline Tory government with one aim - to take Scotland and the UK out of the EU without a deal.

"Scotland has been ignored throughout the Brexit process and it is now time for everyone who cares about the future of Scotland to come together to chart our own course and say to the Tories, stop driving our country towards disaster."

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also made it plain she will not support the UK leaving the EU without a deal - with the issue marking a split between the Tory leadership north and south of the border.

Mr Johnson insisted yesterday there was "no reason" for Scots to have the second independence referendum that Ms Sturgeon is pushing for.

Speaking as he visited the Faslane naval base, where he went on board one of the nuclear submarines that are stationed there, Mr Johnson said there will not be a repeat of the 2014 Scottish referendum.

"It was a once-in-a-generation consultation of the people, we did it in 2014 and the people were assured then that it was a once-in-a-generation consultation.

"I see no reason now for the politicians to go back on that promise."

With a no-deal Brexit likely to increase calls for independence, Mr Johnson yesterday announced a £300m (€330m) fund for communities in the 'devolved nations' of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

He said that he wanted to ensure no corner of the country was left behind.

Mr Johnson said that critics who have dubbed him the last prime minister of the UK were "grossly underestimating the United Kingdom".

"Our union is the most successful political and economic union in history," Mr Johnson said.

"We are a global brand and together we are safer, stronger and more prosperous.

"So as we prepare for our bright future after Brexit, it's vital we renew the ties that bind our United Kingdom," he said.

Irish Independent

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