Brexit and now the effects of the pandemic mean the survival of the union is not guaranteed

But perhaps at the cost of more money and more power spun off from Westminster, it will endure for the time being, writes Mary Dejevsky

Friday 10 July 2020 00:03
Nicola Sturgeon has split from Boris Johnson over a number of issues around coronavirus
Nicola Sturgeon has split from Boris Johnson over a number of issues around coronavirus

Seduced by the prospect of cut-price restaurant meals in August and slashed stamp duty until the spring, you may have missed something the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, just slipped in to his latest big-spending speech in the House of Commons. You can bet, though, that it was heard by the people who were supposed to hear it, starting with Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Between his general preamble and his list of specific measures, Sunak said this: “This crisis has highlighted the special bond which holds our country together. Millions of people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been protected by the UK government’s economic interventions – and they will be supported by today’s Plan for Jobs. No nationalist can ignore the undeniable truth: this help has only been possible because we are a United Kingdom.”

So there, Sturgeon. Where would Scotland be in this crisis without all the largesse being shovelled northwards from London? Think about it, before you lobby for a new independence referendum. The government in Westminster, or at least this government in Westminster, is going to play hardball. They are not softies in the David Cameron mould.

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