Boris Johnson ‘will spend billions of pounds improving road and rail links to Scotland to save the Union’ and avert the threat of an independence referendum as Nicola Sturgeon’s hopes of winning a majority are on the cutting edge.
- Boris Johnson plans to spend billions of pounds on infrastructure to save Union
- The prime minister expected to execute plans in the aftermath of Thursday’s Holyrood election
- Polls show SNP is on its way to victory, but the winning majority may be on edge
- Fear of an SNP majority will immediately see Nicola Sturgeon demanding IndyRef2
Billions of pounds will be spent improving road and rail links to Scotland as part of plans proposed by Boris Johnson to strengthen the Union, it was claimed today.
The prime minister would prepare to splash the money on better infrastructure in a desperate attempt to avert the threat of Scottish independence.
The government is also considering treating Scottish NHS patients on beds in England to solve a backlog in operations, while British diplomats in foreign capitals are told to stress the case against independence.
The plans could also lead to a student exchange program between the British countries.
The news of the prime minister’s plans, first reported in The Sunday Telegraph, came amid fears of a landslide victory by the SNP in Thursday’s Holyrood election.
However, a new poll suggests that while Nicola Sturgeon’s party is on its way to victory, its chances of winning a crucial majority appear to be on the edge.
Boris Johnson, pictured visiting a school in London on April 29, is reportedly preparing to spend a billion pounds improving transport links to Scotland
The Prime Minister hopes the spending will help counter Nicola Sturgeon’s push for Scottish independence. The SNP leader is pictured in Perth on May 1
Winning a majority is considered essential because Ms. Sturgeon believes it would mandate her to hold a second independence referendum.
Failure to meet the benchmark would strengthen Mr. Johnson’s hand and bolster his position to refuse to authorize a repeat of the 2014 vote.
Mr Johnson will chair a meeting attended by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove, as well as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, when his Union plans will be finalized.
The proposals are then expected to be rolled out in the wake of the ‘Super Thursday’ election.
There are concerns in Westminster that Ms. Sturgeon will immediately demand an independence referendum if she obtains a majority.
A leading government source told The Sunday Telegraph that the result is likely to be ‘bloody awful’ in Scotland and ‘we are in a bare knuckle fight’.
There is hope in Whitehall that Ms. Sturgeon will miss a majority, potentially scaling her demands for a second border investigation.
A minister told the newspaper, “If you have a combined Lib-Lab-Con vote of more than 50 percent, that’s very important.”
A highly anticipated Union Connectivity Review conducted by former Network Rail boss Sir Peter Hendy is expected to report in July.
The works include a feasibility study on the construction of a permanent tunnel or bridge connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It came as a Panelbase poll for The Sunday Times suggested that Ms. Sturgeon is headed for victory on Thursday, but it could be tight if she wins a majority.
The poll, conducted between April 28 and April 30, suggested the SNP could win two seats in their 2016 count, giving them an outright majority of just one.
Sir John Curtice, a professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said the survey figures suggested the SNP could end up with 65 seats, the Tories three with 28, Labor six with 18, the Lib Dems one with six, the Greens three with nine and the Alba party with three.