Scottish independence: Better Together chief calls on Boris Johnson to stay out of Scottish independence debate


The former head of the Better Together campaign has called for Boris Johnson to stay out of the debate on Scottish independence.

Blair McDougall, who led the No campaign in the 2014 referendum told the Daily Record, he agreed with Labour MP Ian Murray that the Prime Minister poses a “greater threat to the UK than any nationalist does”.

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The comments come amid recent polls showing growing support for Scottish independence with the SNP also polling strongly in Scottish election polls.

The SNP has outlined its road map to independence which includes plans to hold another referendum even if Westminster refuse permission, effectively daring them to take legal action to stop it.

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The Prime Minister visited Scotland on Thursday (Jeff Mitchell/PA)

Blair McDougall made the comments following a visit to Scotland from the Prime Minister on Thursday, where Johnson talked up the positives of co-operation within the UK in tackling coronavirus, while claiming the SNP uses independence as a diversionary tactic from domestic problems.

Yesterday I visited Scotland to see how the UK Government is supporting our Scottish Government colleagues to beat this pandemic.

I’m immensely grateful to all those working to deliver tests and vaccines. Together, we can stop the spread of coronavirus.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 29, 2021

Mr McDougall told the Daily Record: “I’d say to him ‘stop being the villain that the SNP want you to be. Step into the background and box clever’

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“You should recognise that this is a battle that will be won or lost in Scotland.”

Comparing former prime minister David Cameron’s role to the current No 10 incumbent, Mr McDougall said: “(Mr Cameron) boxed clever and kind of stepped back from it.

“There is a distinct lack of that artistry from Boris Johnson where every intervention is briefed as being the intervention that will save the Union.

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“If David Cameron understood that he was not the man who was going to save the Union, and that it was going to be saved in Scotland, Boris Johnson certainly isn’t.”

In the last 20 opinion polls on the subject, Scottish independence has been the favoured view when undecided voters are removed.

He also called on a new grass-roots movement to be set up to promote the Union saying: “Sooner or later forces on the pro-UK side are going to have to self-organise themselves.”

He added: “People are waiting for something central to happen that will bring everything together. There needs to be a signal to people that politics has changed.”

On the subject of a future referendum, McDougall stated that if Scots wanted one in the long term then it would happen in all likelihood. 


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