Boris Johnson’s ‘optimistic fizz’ will keep the UK together, insists Dominic Raab
PUBLISHED: 11:35 26 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 26 July 2020
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Boris Johnson is in a good position to keep the United Kingdom together due to his “optimistic fizz”.
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The statement was made amid growing support for Scottish independence, with the majority of Scots thinking Johnson is doing a bad job and fellow guest Tony Blair saying the prime minister will not be the person who saves the union.
Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Raab said: “If you look at the approach we are taking, we want to be making really clear the impact that the UK has as a government, as a country, in all parts of the UK, and that includes in Scotland.
“I always want to make sure we are one United Kingdom and we get this debate, we keep coming back to it, but I think if you look at the economic benefits, cultural togetherness, our clout on the international stage, we are much better as one United Kingdom.”
He added: “I think what we need to do much more powerfully is make the positive case for it. I think if you look at elections and referendums recently there’s been a bit of ‘project fear’ that crept into all of them.
“I think we need to be more full-throated and heartfelt in making the case for the union, and I think Boris Johnson is singularly well-placed because of that optimistic fizz he has about him to make the case for the union in that way”.
Raab also spoke about the decision made by the government to remove Spain from its travel corridors list, forcing people arriving in the UK from today onwards to self-isolate for two weeks.
He said the reason was motivated by a big jump in coronavirus cases across mainland Spain.
“We must be able to take swift decisive action, otherwise we risk reinfection into the UK, potentially a second wave here and then another lockdown. If we give vague advice it will create more uncertainty,” Raab said, adding that he “takes into account” the problems the airlines and the passengers are going through as a result of this decision.
Raab also said that the fact that transport secretary Grant Shapps will be among holidaymakers who have to self-isolate upon his return from Spain shows that “the rules are for everyone”.
He praised the “targeted measures” the government has taken. Sophy Ridge replied by saying it would have been a good idea to have done this earlier this year.
The minister said: “We’ve made huge progress with the number of cases, the number of deaths, the number of people in hospital.
“Let’s remember that the virus originally coming into the UK was partly because of travel from Europe.”
He talked about the 14-day quarantine, but when challenged about how the government is enforcing it he said people “have followed the advice”, “backed up by very clear law and sanctions”.
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