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Boris Johnson claims Brexit is ‘huge opportunity’ for Scotland

Boris Johnson is interviewed by Andrew Marr - Credit: BBC

Boris Johnson has claimed Brexit will provide a “huge opportunity” for Scotland – suggesting it will have a positive impact on the country.

The prime minister made the comments following a speech by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who spoke about the party’s “defeatism” over Scottish independence.

The Moray MP said: “The case for separation is now being made more effectively in London than it ever could in Edinburgh.”

The prime minister said he did not think Ross was referring to him when he spoke about Conservatives who were making “the case for separation”, telling The Andrew Marr Show: “I think he was talking about those who don’t value the Union in the way that I do and I think that the Union is one of the great achievements of this country.

“And by the way, I think its value, its use has been amply demonstrated during this crisis.

“Not just in the way the armed services have helped deliver tests around the country, but the way the financial support for the whole UK has been delivered by HMT, by the Treasury.”

Asked if Brexit and his own “political personality” were responsible for driving the case for independence, he said Brexit would be a “huge opportunity” for Scotland and said his government’s Internal Market Bill would involve the devolution of new powers including control over fisheries.

The prime minister added: “It seems absolutely incredible to me that the Scottish Nationalist Party should actually be supporting a policy of you know, literally handing back control of Scottish fisheries to Brussels.

“Abandoning the future prospects of young people growing up in Scotland who have a great future in that industry.”

Asked whether he would grant a second Scottish independence referendum if the SNP win a majority in next year’s Holyrood elections, Johnson said: “This country has a big job of building back better from coronavirus and I don’t think this is the time, quite frankly, for us to have another referendum.

“We had a referendum in 2014, we were told it was a once in a generation event… by the leaders of the SNP and six years doesn’t seem to me (to be) a generation.”

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