UK vaccine programme shows 'success of the Union'

Prime minister Boris Johnson holding a vial of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine as he visits

Prime minister Boris Johnson holding a vial of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine as he visits a vaccination centre at Cwmbran Stadium in Cwmbran, south Wales. Picture date: Wednesday February 17, 2021. - Credit: PA

Scottish secretary Alister Jack has hailed the vaccination programme against the virus as being a success for the UK.

The minister claimed Scotland would still be in the “vice-like grip” of coronavirus if it had followed SNP advice on vaccinations.

He insisted: “Had we followed the SNP’s advice on vaccines and waited for the flat-footed EU, we would still be in the vice-like grip of the pandemic instead of confidently looking forward to better days.

“There can be no more eloquent expression of the success of the Union than this brilliant UK-wide approach.”

He said the UK has developed a “Covid-19 vaccination programme that is the envy of the world” and described this as being as a “truly astonishing achievement” and on a “scale that dwarfs anything since the war”.

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Jack said: “Across Britain, we have jabs going into arms at a tremendous rate, hammering back this dreadful virus.

“The foundations for this success were laid long ago when this Conservative government took the visionary decision to back a host of experimental vaccine programmes.”

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He spoke out about the vaccination programme in his speech to the Scottish Conservative Conference – in which he also attacked Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP Scottish government.

Dubbing SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford a “champagne separatist”, he hit out at his comments that there could be a second Scottish independence referendum towards the end of this year.

Jack said: “It is chilling that with the monumental task of recuperating from a pandemic still ahead, supposedly serious politicians can spend even a moment contemplating the reckless folly of another referendum.”

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