Nicola Sturgeon says Covid summit produced 'nothing substantial yet' after talks with Boris Johnson

Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the Covid summit produced “nothing substantial yet” after talks with Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson met with Nicola Sturgeon and the other devolved leaders on Thursday afternoon.

The Prime Minister had called the meeting with the devolved leaders after last month’s elections and said the UK was “best served when we work together”.

Taking place virtually, it was chaired by Mr Johnson and also included the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales from the UK Government.

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Speaking afterwards, the First Minister labelled the talks "frank" but positive.

She said: “Both I and indeed the First Minister of Wales made clear that if we are to have good faith discussions about working together where we can then that's not helped by the power grab and the UK Government trying to muscle in on devolved spending.

"The Scottish Government's put forward some very specific suggestions around the extension of furlough, the need for there to be stability and certainty in public spending, for example, the importance of a green recovery, and a number of other things.

“I made clear if these summits are going to be worthwhile then we really need to see….not any of us getting everything we asked for, but real progress around these issues."

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The meeting saw ministers agree that it was important opportunity for dialogue between the UK Government and devolved administrations.

The Prime Minister told attendees while they may differ on the issue on independence or other policy matters, it should not prevent the Governments from working together on the recovery.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack praised the meeting as “very constructive”, and claimed the pandemic presented an opportunity to make a difference.

He said: "We can learn from what's happened and how we can work better together, acknowledging that although there are a devolved administrations there are also two governments in those devolved administrations and it's incredibly important that we work constructively together to improve the livelihoods of people."

Mr Jack also hinted at the possibility of the furlough scheme being extended past September.

He said: "What we've said is we have an open mind, as we've had in the past where we've extended it.

"Who knows where we'll be at the end of September.”

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