Great Britain

Boris Johnson to 'draft new strategy' to halt Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish independence bid

Top ministers are exploring tactics to avoid a second Scottish independence referendum, after recent polls indicated surging support for a split from the UK. The plan has been outlined in a memo circulated to Government minister’s, including Michael Gove, Bloomberg reports.

The document has been drafted by a political consultancy firm that is exploring tactics to delay a Scottish vote if Nicola Sturgeon's SNP wins big in next May's elections.

It states continuing to dismiss the First Minister's calls for a second referendum would be "counterproductive". 

Possible measures to appease the Scottish government includes devolving more power over to Holyrood and ratifying a new settlement through a popular vote.

A source familiar with the memo said a group was coming together to work on the issue. 

Reacting to the new poll Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “To my fellow SNP members - this level of support is hard earned but mustn’t be taken for granted.

“Stay focussed & independence will follow - I’ve never been more certain.

“But our, my, immediate responsibility is to lead Scotland through COVID - right now, nothing matters more.”

More to follow...

It is understood the document has not been commissioned directly from the Government.

The document, seen by Bloomberg News, points out the pro-UK cause is on the back foot as Ms Sturgeon’s popularity has soared during the pandemic.

By contrast the Prime Minister and the Tory Party have been steadily losing support.

It comes after a bombshell poll found a record number of Scots back independence.

The Ipsos MORI poll found 58 percent of Scots would vote yes to leaving the UK, with just 42 percent opposed.

When the “don’t knows” were included 55 percent would back independence versus 39 percent who want to remain in the UK.

Football news:

Guardiola on the schedule: Players lose the joy of football. This is a problem
Solskjaer about Manchester United: We didn't start the Premier League like the others, because of the European Cup and pre-season, which we didn't have
Why is soccer called soccer in the United States (and not only there)? Is it true that this name was invented by the British?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: We look at Manchester United through the lens of history. We want to attack and dominate
Koeman on the crisis: We must help Barca in the name of our love for her. We need to think about what's best for the club
Bayer midfielder Bailey named son Leo Cristiano: This has nothing to do with football at all
Tuchel after 2:2 with Bordeaux: I always protect the players, but I refuse to do this. You can't play matches of this level