Boris Johnson visits Northern Ireland in bid to shore up the Union
- Credit: PA
Boris Johnson will visit politicians in Northern Ireland on Thursday in a bid to shore up the Union following a rise in support for its break-up.
The prime minister will press the importance of the United Kingdom in talks with the region's first minister Arlene Foster,of the DUP, and deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill, of Sinn Fein.
Johnson is expected to discuss ways to make the Union 'stronger and better than ever' in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and touch on next year's centenary of Northern Ireland's creation.
You may also want to watch:
On Wednesday, the prime minister said he could not 'overstate' how important close co-operation between central and devolved governments will be to keeping the Union together.
- 1 Labour leader defends NHS after being kicked out of pub in Bath
- 2 Opposition parties push for probe into Boris Johnson's conduct following viral video
- 3 ‘I should not have listened to Cameron’ – Former European Commission president
- 4 A chapter is over for Britain, for good or ill
- 5 The biggest scandal may be that no rules were broken
- 6 Scottish Tory leader accused of 'nonsense' excuse for Boris Johnson avoiding Scotland
- 7 Russell Kane: Why working class people like Boris Johnson
- 8 Brexit regret: Meet the Leave voters who wish they hadn't voted Leave
- 9 Welsh government takes Westminster to court over post-Brexit bill
- 10 The deep-seated issues beneath Sofagate
'Together, we will make sure Northern Ireland is ready to take full advantage of the many opportunities that lie ahead and that no part of Northern Ireland is left behind,' he said.
He added: 'As we mark 100 years since the creation of Northern Ireland, it is important that we celebrate its people, culture and traditions, along with its vital contribution to the United Kingdom.'
Johnson is expected to meet the Republic of Ireland's new Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who took over from Leo Varadkar in June and where the progress of Brexit trade talks with the EU will be on the agenda.
The prime minister's trip comes as polling shows rising support for a second independence referendum in Scotland and a spike in support for SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon whose party is expected to win a landslide victory in next year's Holyrood elections.
A recent YouGov poll, carried out by The Times, found that Nicola Sturgeon is now 100 points ahead of Boris Johnson in Scottish voters' approval ratings.
The survey found that Sturgeon was on +50 points as her approval rating continues to soar following her handling of the coronavirus pandemic while Johnson's has dropped to -50 points.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.