Jeremy Hunt won't help Nicola Sturgeon 'give a platform for independence'

Nicola Sturgeon gave an interview to CNN during a trip to the United States earlier this year and said Scotland would be independent within five years
Nicola Sturgeon gave an interview to CNN during a trip to the United States earlier this year and said Scotland would be independent within five years
Share this article
0
Have your say

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has withdrawn support for Nicola Sturgeon's overseas trips in an escalation of the row between the Foreign Office and the Scottish Government.

Mr Hunt said the First Minister's office would no longer routinely get help from Foreign Office officials to set up meetings with foreign officials and politicians, in a major change to protocol.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt criticised for decision to 'withdraw' Foreign Office support for Nicola Sturgeon visit
It follows the revelation that support was withdrawn for a trip to Brussels earlier this month in response to concerns about her summer visit to the USA and Canada last year.

Mr Hunt said he would no longer sign off on help for trips that "give a platform for independence".

"I believe in the Union with every fibre of my being and British government policy is to protect, preserve, cherish and enhance that Union," the Foreign Secretary told the Daily Mail.

"So we are not going to offer support to Nicola Sturgeon if she goes abroad to drum up support for independence, and that is exactly why I am the Prime Minister that she least wants because she knows I won't allow our Union to be broken up."

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland will be independent in five years
Until now, Scottish ministers have routinely been able to get help setting up travel and meetings, and have had the use of facilities at British Embassies and consulates.

That will now be restricted to trips touching on "areas for which [Scottish ministers] have a devolved responsibility" and where they "avoid supporting activities intended to campaign for policies contrary to [the UK] Government's position".