Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday pleaded for increased support for another independence referendum as head of Scotland, saying the COVID-19 epidemic showed benefits to live with.

The bonds that bind England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together in a $ 3 trillion economy have been severely strained by both Brexit and Johnson to deal with the coronovirus outbreak.

Opinion surveys suggest that most of Scott will now regain independence, although Johnson has repeatedly said that now is not the time for another referendum that could break the more than 314-year-old union between England and Scotland.

Prior to his visit, which was criticized by Scottish nationalists, Johnson said that Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, gained access to a coronovirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the shots were being handled by the shared armed forces. , Which are building 80 new vaccine centers in Scotland.

“We’ve pulled together to defeat the virus,” Johnson said. “During this epidemic mutual cooperation across Britain is the same as the people of Scotland expect and this is what I am focused on.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon criticized Johnson’s visit, questioning whether the reasons for his arrival are “really necessary” and arguing that this is a bad example for the public.

Sturgeon, who runs Scotland’s semi-autonomous government, is expecting a strong performance by the Scottish National Party in an election to the country’s parliament of religion in May, giving him the mandate to hold a second referendum.

If Scotland voted for independence, it would mean the United Kingdom would lose about a third of its landslides and about a tenth of its population – like the world’s sixth-largest economy struggling with the effects of Brexit.

Johnson, who would have to agree to a new referendum, has said there is no need for a new vote after independence was rejected by Scottish voters in 2014.

Scotland voted against independence from 55% to 45% in the 2014 referendum. But Stokes’ majority supported staying in the European Union in the subsequent 2016 Brexit vote, after Scottish nationalists voted to leave Britain altogether.

Scottish nationalists try to force a change in the constitution of the United Kingdom, while the government said COVID-19, Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, is a massive distraction.

Gov. told Sky News, “Right now, when we are giving priority to the fight against the disease as well as talking about changes in the constitution, only then economic reform is needed.”

Gove said that Johnson, who made himself a minister for the union, was the best frontman to hold the United Kingdom together.

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Gai Foulcobridge; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Sandals)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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