Watch out, Nicola! Boris' new masterplan to save Union and demolish independence dream


The Prime Minister will chair the special committee will discuss the Government’s strategy for preventing the breakup of the Union. Sources said members would explore how new post-Brexit spending powers could be used to intervene in devolved areas that controlled by Ms Sturgeon’s SNP administration.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and the secretaries of state for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will attend meetings of the new Union Strategy committee along with Mr Johnson and Lord Frost, who was has now been promoted to the Cabinet to take charge of the UK’s future relations with the European Union.

It comes as a new poll suggested support for Scottish independence had slipped by 4 percent since last November but the Yes side holds the lead for the 22nd straight survey.

An Ipso Mori poll for STV News of 1,031 adults in Scotland shows 52 percent in favour of independence, when undecided voters are removed, down from 56 percent in the last survey by the same firm.

According to the survey, 52 percent of respondents said they would cast their constituency vote for the SNP in May’s Holyrood elections – down from 55 percent in November – with 23 percent voting for the Conservatives, 15 percent for Scottish Labour, 5 percent for the Lib Dems and 3 percent for the Greens.

In the regional list, 47 percent would vote SNP, 22 percent for the Tories, 14 percent for Labour and 8 percent and 6 percent for the Greens and Lib Dems respectively.

With the party looking almost certain to be the biggest in Holyrood, SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “This poll shows that voters in Scotland are continuing to put their trust in the SNP, ahead of the Westminster parties, to lead Scotland’s recovery.

“The people of Scotland want to have their say on Scotland’s future in a post-pandemic referendum and the clearest way to secure that opportunity is with an SNP majority in May.

“While today’s findings are encouraging, they underline the importance of Both Votes SNP at the election to stop Boris Johnson’s Tory party having the whip hand over Scotland.

“It is up to the people who live and work here to decide Scotland’s future, not Westminster governments we didn’t vote for.”

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Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, said: “I am delighted to see yet another opinion poll showing the Scottish Greens on course to elect a record number of MSPs in May.

“We’ll continue to put the work in to show exactly why electing more Green MSPs will make a difference.

“It’s clear that the public appreciates the constructive approach adopted by the Greens over the last five years and throughout the pandemic which has delivered so much for communities across Scotland.”

While the First Minister remains the most popular leader in Scotland, her favourability rating has dropped by 16 percent, falling to a net of 32 percent since October.

Tory leader Douglas Ross’ rating rose by 5 percent, from a net of -17 percent to -12 percent, while the Lib

Dems’ Willie Rennie went from a negative to positive favourability rating during the same period, from -1 percent to 6 percent.

Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie enjoyed a 12 percent net rating – the first time the company had asked about him in this election cycle.



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