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by Andrew Learmonth
05 August 2021
Boris Johnson says independence referendum 'not on his agenda'

Boris Johnson on the bridge of the Esvagt Wind 8 during a visit to the Moray East windfarm

Boris Johnson says independence referendum 'not on his agenda'

Boris Johnson has said an independence referendum is “as far from the top of my agenda as it is possible to be”.

Earlier this week, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove said that an independence referendum will go ahead if it is the “settled will” of voters in Scotland.

Speaking to Scottish journalists during a visit to the Moray East windfarm, the Prime Minister was asked if he agreed with his cabinet colleague. He said: "I think the priority for our country as a whole is bouncing back together, working our way forwards from this pandemic together, and I think the opportunities are absolutely phenomenal.

"The emphasis, I think, has got to be on economic recovery and I think constitutional change, it's not top of my agenda, let me put it that way."

He added: "My view is that the priority is bouncing back strongly from Covid, working together on that, continuing to deliver the vaccine, and by the way, delivering on the other top priorities of the British people.

"Yesterday I was in Glasgow talking to people from agencies across the whole of the UK who are involved in fighting county lines drugs gangs. You can see the way the UK has to work together to do this.

"There are there are a huge number of things that we need to do together and that's what I want to focus on."

Pressed on whether the "settled will" would be measured by polls, or election results or some other metric, he said: "I think I wouldn't draw any conclusions about what my views are on that from what I've just said.

"My view is that the priority is bouncing back strongly from COVID, working together on that, continuing to deliver the vaccine, and by the way, delivering on other top priorities of the British people.”

Asked if Nicola Sturgeon should stop any motion related to a new independence referendum at the SNP’s party conference, Johnson said: “I would not presume to advise another leader of another party how to conduct his or her conference but what we’re focussed on jobs and economic rebound, and green economic growth, that’s what’s so exciting about today.”

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - Henry McLeish: 'Yes, I would support independence'

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