- Boris Johnson warns that he will not negotiate if the EU does not withdraw the plan for the Irish border.
- Johnson took advantage of an appearance at the Faslane naval base, near Glasgow, to express with his usual grandiloquence that he is willing to "reach out" to the EU.
- Polls indicate that support for Scottish independence is on the rise again.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on Monday doubled an offensive to boost his Brexit goals. On the one part, he announced an investment plan of 300 million pounds (329 million euros) in Scotland, a territory mostly contrary to an EU exit, especially without a pact. On the other hand, the conservative leader’s office sent a harsh message to the EU, warning that Johnson will not negotiate with Brussels if the safeguard included in the exit agreement is not withdrawn before avoiding a hard border in Ireland.
“The United Kingdom is the most successful political and economic union in history, we are a global brand,” Boris Johnson proclaimed on the occasion of his first visit as British Prime Minister to Díscola Scotland. The new Tory leader is trying to counter the demands of the Scottish independence movement to hold a new referendum – reinforced by the prospect of a disorderly Brexit on October 31 – with the announcement of an investment plan of 300 million pounds destined for this autonomy, including Wales and Northern Ireland.
Johnson’s call to renew “the ties that bind” the United Kingdom presided over a visit in which the conservative prime minister stressed that “every decision” he makes “will promote and strengthen the union.” A union that, defying his words, suffers from unprecedented pressures in the face of the increasingly real perspective of breaking up with the European partners.
Scotland, that voted against Brexit in the referendum three years ago, fears catastrophic economic consequences of confirming such a scenario, which gives energy to conduct a new referendum on Scottish independence, rejected by voters in 2014. In fact, polls indicate that independence is on the rise again. And already on his first day of office, Johnson’s trip to counteract the Scottish stumbled upon the position of the Scottish Conservatives leader, Ruth Davidson, who hours before the meeting with the Prime Minister published a rostrum in the Scottish Mail to underline her radical rejection of a Brexit without agreement.
The position of the popular Davidson – the great electoral trick of the Tories in a Scotland that had hitherto turned its back on them – connects with the apprehension of the Scots before the announcements of the new British Executive to accelerate preparations for the case of a risky break with the EU.
But the conservative leader maintains his opposition to the exit agreement signed by his predecessor, Theresa May, which has also been rejected several times by Parliament. Johnson took advantage of an appearance at the Faslane naval base, near Glasgow, to express with his usual grandiloquence that he is willing to “reach out” to the EU, even to travel “a thousand extra miles” to get a new Brexit agreement, but at the same time, he set limits.
Johnson is not willing to talk to the EU if the so-called Irish backstop or safeguard is not withdrawn beforehand, which aims to prevent a hard border with Brexit from returning between the Republic of Ireland (within the EU) and Northern Ireland (a part of Britain).