I don’t know what our relationship will be like in 20 years. I don’t know what the EU will look like in 20 years. And maybe I don’t know what your union will look like here in 20 years. Who knows? We must therefore be ready for change.
In 2017, some Brexiters believed that the departure of the United Kingdom could lead to the breakup of the EU. It now seems more likely that at least in the medium term this could lead to the break-up of the UK.
And on this subject, this morning, there was an important development. Ever since Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially started calling for a second independence referendum in March 2017, the response from the UK government – under Theresa May, then Boris Johnson – has been to say no now. May argued that the time was not right because the country was concerned about Brexit, and Johnson argued that the time was not right because of Covid.
Today, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Michel Gove, who as cabinet minister has a special role in overseeing trade union issues, went further, effectively ruling out a second referendum until after the next general election. In writing the interview, Ben Riley-Smith said:
When asked if he could imagine “any circumstance” in which Mr Johnson would agree to a second referendum before the 2024 election, [Gove] said, “I don’t think so.
“The Prime Minister is fully focused on the fact that during the life of this parliament we are increasing economic opportunities, we are giving people the possibility to earn more with their living, to take control of their future. “
When asked if it was “clear enough” from the response that his position was “no referendum until the 2024 election”, Mr Gove doubled down by saying: “I can’t see it” .
Gove also told the Telegraph that Johnson was more popular than people assumed in Scotland and that he should visit the country more often. Gove mentionned:
One of the things that I think people constantly underestimate is the level of connection, personal and emotional, that people across the country have with the Prime Minister.
I think there is a myth that has arisen, fueled by Scottish nationalists, that somehow the Prime Minister is not doing well in Scotland. In my experience I have seen people in Orkney, people in Aberdeenshire, respond as warmly to the Prime Minister as people from Oxfordshire or Hartlepool.
I think it’s a SNP mind game, so to speak, to try to suggest that somehow the Prime Minister of the UK shouldn’t set foot in a party from the United Kingdom.
In his report Riley Smith adds:
When asked if the prime minister was a help or an obstacle to keeping the three-century-old union intact, [Gove] Do not stop. ” A help. So should he go to Scotland more often? One word answer: “Yes. ”
Here is the program for the day.
9h30 : Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of Northern Ireland, testifies before the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
10h : Education Secretary Gavin Williamson testifies before the House of Commons Education Committee.
10h : Dame Vera Baird, Victims Commissioner, testifies before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on the rape prosecution.
12h : Boris Johnson takes on Sir Keir Starmer at PMQ.
12h30 : Helen Whately, Minister of Social Affairs, responds to an urgent House of Commons question on social assistance.
13h30 : Downing Street is expected to hold its daily briefing in the lobby.
14h : Ben Wallace, Secretary of Defense, testifies before the Commons Defense Committee on Global Britain.
16h : Sir Kevan Collins, who recently resigned his post as the government’s Commissioner for Restoration of Education, speaks at the Education Festival.
Politics Live has recently been a mix of Covid and non-Covid news and it likely will be today. For more developments on coronaviruses, follow our Global Covid Live Blog.
I am trying to monitor comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a straightforward question, include “Andrew” somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I try to answer the questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and answer over the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to get my attention quickly, it’s probably best to use Twitter. I’m on it @AndrewSparrow.
Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected]