Opinion Matrix: Boris Johnson has to ‘take back control’ of Union

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Yesterday’s opinion columns covered the need for the Prime Minister to up the fight to keep the Union, concerns about high taxes in the wake of the pandemic and a call to up the ante of coronavirus vaccinations. Here is The ‘s pick of the editorials.

Sunday Times

The newspaper’s editorial said that Boris Johnson’s next test will be to “take back control” of the Union.

It comes after its  comprehensive “state of the union” survey showed “rising support” for a break-up of the UK with half of Scottish voters wanting and expecting another referendum on independence,

It argued that Nicola Sturgeon “is lucky” to have Boris Johnson as prime minister.

“Scots struggle to fathom the popularity of Mr Johnson south of the border. A clear majority of Scottish voters opposed Brexit and he is the embodiment of it. Scots also see a prime minister who described devolution as a ‘disaster’. Words matter, and so does character. Mr Johnson’s bumbling Englishness does not work for them.

The fight to preserve the Union “will be a tough one to win for those who, like us, believe separation would be bad both for Scotland and for the rest of the UK”.

It went on: “Should it come to another referendum, there will be a close parallel with the 2016 EU vote. It is easier to argue for change than to campaign for the status quo.

“The risk for Mr Johnson is that he could yet be the prime minister who delivered Brexit and, partly as a result, presided over the break-up of the UK.”

Sunday Telegraph

Their editoral warned against the nation drifting into a “high-tax economy” thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The aftermath of the pandemic will undoubtedly… require permanent higher spending on public health and other related measures. To come even close to restoring fiscal order requires a squeeze – austerity, if one wants to call it that – on non-Covid, non-capital expenditure and non-military spending. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is therefore caught between a rock and a hard place. He mustn’t hike taxes, but Tory MPs must see sense and relearn to love a small state that lives within its means.”

Sun on Sunday

Its editorial called for an acceleration of the Covid-19 vaccination programme as the number of first-dose Covid vaccine jabs in 24 hours fell for the third day in a row to 22,213.

“Why the hold-up? Worried over-80s are still waiting for their injections while the government is now writing to over-70s to book them in for their vaccinations.

“It all seems, as one non-vaccinated 86-year-old claims, “a bit of a shambles”.

“Many people say Nicola Sturgeon’s government is falling short.

“As the sluggish vaccination plan ramps up this week, perhaps the critics will have to eat their words. Let’s hope so —for all our sake”

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