Boris Johnson risks uniting Scotland against him and the Union with independence SNP row

IndyRef2: McEwen reveals ‘risk for the UK and Boris Johnson’

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Senior Fellow at the think tank, UK in a changing Europe, Professor Nicola McEwen reflected on the challenges facing Boris Johnson in Scotland regarding maintaining the Union. While speaking to Express.co.uk, she said the Westminster Government wants to be seen to be doing more in Scotland. However, she highlighted this could cause tensions between the SNP and Westminster.

She added these tensions could damage the UK’s Government’s plans to keep the union together by making the issue of independence a Scotland versus Westminster battle.

Professor McEwen said: “The UK Government gave itself spending powers in the UK internal market act late last year to enhance its ability to spend in devolved areas without going through the normal channels.

“A big part of that an effort to make the UK Government more visible in Scotland, Wales too to an extent, but the threat to the union is seen as greater in Scotland.”

Professor McEwen went into greater detail about how the UK Government had to tread carefully when intervening in Scotland.

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She said: “I think there are lots of ways to make the UK Government visible in Scotland within areas of which it has constitutional authority.

“It doesn’t have to do it in devolved areas and there is a risk that creates a push back.

“This is because it is seen as undermining devolution or the Parliament.

“This is particularly true if it is done in competition rather than cooperation.

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“The other risk here is that at the moment independence is an issue that divides Scotland.

“It is a debate within Scotland and the risk for the British Government and Boris Johnson is that he allows it to become a fight or a contest between the Scottish Government and the UK Government.

“That would change the optics of that battle and we know from years and years of data that there is far more trust in the Scottish Government in Scotland than in the UK Government.”

Whether Scotland would become independent if it ever had a referendum remains a hotly debated topic in UK and Scottish politics.

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Ms Sturgeon and the SNP have endured wavering support for a referendum on independence over recent years.

Of the 1,000 people asked by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, 43 percent agreed a referendum vote should only be held if the Government approves it.

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