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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Johnson's misstep on devolution will help the nationalists

Perhaps he has too much time on his hands now he is self-isolating and has lost what political judgement he had, but the Prime Minister reportedly calling devolution "a disaster north of the border" and “Tony Blair’s worst mistake” is not going to endear him to his party colleagues in Wales and Scotland, nor is it going to achieve anything other than strengthen the hands of those who wish to break up the union.

As the Independent reports, Johnson made the comments during an online meeting with dozens of Tory backbench MPs on Monday. Downing Street did not deny the paper’s report but rather made things worse by claiming that Johnson “has always supported devolution" as long as it is not "used by separatists and nationalists to break up the UK".

Both the Scottish and Welsh Tories have done their best to distance themselves from the Prime Minister's remarks, but the damage has already been done. With elections for the devolved Parliaments due in May, Johnson has given the nationalists another stick to beat him with.

And of course the irony is that the biggest threat to the union is not the SNP, but Johnson himself. His single-minded pursuit of a no deal Brexit, which undermines the Good Friday Agreement is more likely to see a united Ireland and an independent Scotland, both severed from the UK than anything that Nicola Sturgeon might have to say on the matter.
He is a worn out tired politician who should go and write his memoirs. Another Tory should not take his place BUT CALL AN ELECTION.
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