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Boris Johnson heads to Scotland amid rising support for independence

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Boris Johnson heads to Scotland amid rising support for independence

Johnson insisted his administration governs for the entire UK.

By

7/22/20, 11:30 PM CET

Updated 7/22/20, 11:34 PM CET

LONDON — Boris Johnson will visit Scotland amid rising support for the nation to break with the U.K.

The prime minister will meet business owners and members of the armed forces, but he will not see Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Downing Street said.

Johnson’s visit comes as he prepares to mark one year in office. But his ambition of keeping the union together looks to be floundering.

A poll earlier this month found support for Scottish independence at 54 percent, versus 46 percent for remaining part of the U.K. Polling expert John Curtice said it was “the first time in polling history” that backing for independence had been ahead “over such a sustained period.”

Meanwhile, there are tensions with the Scottish National Party, which runs the Scottish devolved administration, over plans to keep the U.K. single market together once trade powers return from the EU. The SNP has accused the U.K. government of a “power grab” over plans for Westminster to maintain a common framework for goods standards.

But Johnson insisted his administration governs for the entire U.K. “When I stood on the steps of Downing Street one year ago, I pledged to be a prime minister for every corner of the United Kingdom,” he said in a statement ahead of the visit.

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