PM concerned for union

Johnson heads to Scotland as ‘power grab’ row deepens

Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House

During his last visit to Scotland Mr Johnson left via the back door of Bute House

Boris Johnson will visit Scotland this week in a bid to tackle a surge in support for independence and to quell growing dissent over plans to create a post-Brexit internal market.

The fragile “covid consensus” which has allowed the four UK administrations to work together has begun to crack amid arguments over post-Brexit plans that the SNP regard as a “power grab” by the Westminster government.

Mr Johnson’s ministers have insisted that the white paper’s proposals are necessary in order to establish new standards currently held by Brussels. They say it will lead to more powers being transferred to the devolved governments.

However, SNP ministers, led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, disagree. They say the powers of the Scottish parliament will be eroded.

The row has contributed to a rise in support for independence. Panelbase studies published in June and July found 54% of Scots now back a Yes vote, a five-point surge since March.

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