Boris Johnson leaves meeting via backdoor after getting booed and jeered in Scotland
PUBLISHED: 08:52 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:55 30 July 2019
Boris Johnson was booed and jeered as he arrived in Scotland for the first time since becoming prime minister.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.
Johnson became the first prime minister to leave Bute House through the backdoor after he was booed on his arrival.
The new PM used his visit to insist there is "no reason" for Scots to have the second independence referendum that first minister Nicola Sturgeon is pushing for.
He hit out at the "campaign to destroy the union" from the SNP - and while he refused to unequivocally rule out granting Holyrood permission for a second independence referendum, he said comments that the 2014 ballot was a "once in a generation" event must be respected.
He stated: "It was a once-in-a-generation consultation of the people, we did it in 2014 and the people were assured then that it was a once-in-a-generation consultation.
"I see no reason now for the politicians to go back on that promise."
Nicola Sturgeon said after her first meeting with the new prime minister that Boris Johnson is secretly pursuing a "dangerous" no-deal Brexit.
She warned it was now "almost inevitable" the UK will leave the European Union without a deal, despite Johnson insisting an agreement can be reached with Brussels.
But Johnson said there was a "very good chance we can get a deal".
The PM accepted there was "no change" in the position of EU leaders - who have been consistent that they will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement reached by Theresa May.
Despite that he insisted: "There is ample scope to do a new deal, to do a new deal and a better deal."
But Sturgeon added: "After my discussions with Boris Johnson, behind all of the bluff and bluster, this is a government that is dangerous.
"I think the path that it is pursuing is a dangerous one for Scotland and for all of the UK.
"He says publicly - and he said it to me again today - that he wants a deal with the EU, but there is no clarity whatsoever about how he thinks he can get from the position now where he's taking a very hard line - the withdrawal agreement is dead, the backstop is dead.
"If I listen to all of that and listen to what's not being said as well as what is being said, I think that this is a government that is pursuing a no-deal strategy, however much they may deny that in public."
The SNP leader added: "I think, if he were in this room right now, he would deny this vehemently, but I think he wants a no-deal Brexit."
Johnson had also met with Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is also opposed to a no-deal Brexit.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter