Boris Johnson to launch ‘Union task force’ to ’emblazon a Union Jack’ on every policy
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch a new ‘Union task force’ to make the ’emotional’ case for the UK.
The new task force will consist of Conservative MPs from England, Wales and Scotland, according to the Financial Times.
One senior Scottish Tory MP told the newspaper: “We have to make sure the union is at the heart of everything we do, every policy needs to have a Union Jack emblazoned on it.”
While the main ail will be to encourage Scotland to stay in the union – where recent polls show a majority for independence – it will also focus on Wales too.
The plan will include new No 10 press secretary Allegra Stratton broadcasting from the devolved nations.
Yesterday Boris Johnson was forced to row back in the face of a backlash after claiming that “devolution has been a disaster” and was “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake”.
He also said that he did not “see a case” for handing down more powers from Westminster to the nations.
The Prime Minister made the comments in a Zoom call with Tory MPs who are part of the Northern Research Group, which formed over concerns coronavirus lockdowns were unfairly damaging the north of England.
A Welsh Government minister said that it is clear that the Conservative won’t respect devolution following Boris Johnson’s comments yesterday.
Counsel general Jeremy Miles said that the Prime Minister’s comments were “shocking but sadly not surprising”.
He pointed to the Internal Market Bill – which will allow the UK Government to override Wales and Scotland on some devolved issues – as an “assault on devolution”.
“It has been clear for some time that this Conservative government is not remotely interested in respecting the devolution settlements across the UK,” Jeremy Miles said.
“If they want to demonstrate that they are prepared to relent, and respect the will of the people in the devolved nations, they should immediately overhaul the Internal Market bill, with its assault on devolution, and finally commit to working with, not working around, the Welsh Government when it comes to the Shared Prosperity Fund and future funding for Wales.
“The Prime Minister is also Minister for the Union — but the conduct of his government is actually the biggest threat to the future of the Union.”