Boris Johnson says all Scots 'expect mutual co-operation' ahead of Scotland visit

Boris Johnson has insisted all Scots “expect mutual co-operation” across the UK ahead of his first visit north of the Border in six months.

Boris Johnson has insisted all Scots “expect mutual co-operation” across the UK ahead of visiting the country.
Boris Johnson has insisted all Scots “expect mutual co-operation” across the UK ahead of visiting the country.

Speaking ahead of his visit to Scotland on Thursday, the Prime Minister claimed the crisis had shown the strength of a United Kingdom.

Mr Johnson praised the efforts of those across the four nations and insisted working collaboratively had helped to save lives and livelihoods.

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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.

“Mutual co-operation across the UK throughout this pandemic is exactly what the people of Scotland expect and it is what I have been focused on.

“The people of the UK have stood together during this pandemic – from our doctors and nurses in our hospitals to our shop workers, scientists, lorry drivers and teachers. Working together as one truly United Kingdom is the best way to build our Covid recovery.”

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Nicola Sturgeon urges Boris Johnson to think twice about Scottish visit

Mr Johnson also stressed the financial contributions made by the UK Government and its support for Scottish business.

He said: “We have pulled together to defeat the virus, providing £8.6 billion 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 United Kingdom 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.”

As well as financial support, the British Armed Forces in Scotland is helping to establish 80 new vaccine centres, and more than 415,000 people have already been vaccinated in the country.

Mr Johnson travelled to Moray and Orkey in his previous visit to Scotland in July last year.

In a statement issued ahead of Thursday’s visit, the case where a third of Scottish ambulance calls were being taken by centres in England last weekend was cited as an example of ongoing mutual aid.

Earlier today, Nicola Sturgeon urged Mr Johnson to think twice about his Scottish visit, branding it “non-essential”.

The First Minister called for the PM to consider whether a trip north was vital and suggested there should not be different rules for the public and politicians.

She said: “I would say me travelling from Edinburgh to Aberdeen to visit a vaccination centre right now is not essential, and Boris Johnson travelling from London to wherever he is [going] in Scotland to do the same is not essential.

"I am not and never would be saying that Boris Johnson is not welcome in Scotland – he's the Prime Minister of the UK.

“But we're living in a global pandemic right now. Every day I look down the camera and say ‘don't travel unless it is really essential, work from home if you possibly can’ and that has to apply to all of us.

“We have a duty to lead by example and if we are going to suggest that we don't take these rules as seriously as we should, it gets harder to convince other people. That's why I'm perhaps not ecstatic about the thought of the Prime Minister visiting.”

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