NICOLA Sturgeon clashed with Boris Johnson on Thursday night, with the two government leaders arguing over the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.

The new Prime Minister has repeatedly said that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, “do or die”.

And on the first full day of his premiership he significantly ramped up no-deal preparations.

A spokeswoman for the First Minister said the two had spoken on the phone and that the SNP leader had used the call to reiterate “the Scottish Government’s strong opposition to a ‘no deal’ Brexit”.

The spokeswoman added: “She confirmed that the Scottish Government will continue to make every possible preparation for no deal as long as it remains a threat, but urged the Prime Minister to change course and avoid this.”

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The Prime Minister’s spokesman said the call between the two had been “positive”, with Johnson insisting that he is going be the leader “for the whole of the United Kingdom”.

The spokesman added: “He wants to unite the country and unleash the productive power of every corner of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Johnson has also gifted himself the title Minister of the Union, fulfilling a pledge made on the campaign trail, just weeks ago.

His spokesman said it was “a statement of his commitment to the strengthening of the Union and the value he places upon it.”

The National:

But there was speculation that this value he places on the Union was not being matched by his action.

Michael Gove, who has been appointed as the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has been tasked with “overseeing constitutional affairs and maintaining the integrity of the Union”.

The SNP’s Gail Ross said she had “considerable cause for concern” about Gove’s appointment “given his previous remarks about devolution”.

In particular, the MSP pointed to proposals by the Tory minister to bypass the Scottish Government when it came to spending money in Scotland.

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At the Scottish Tory conference earlier this year, Gove told a Fringe event that he wanted the UK government to spend money on “projects that will strengthen the Union” in areas that are currently devolved.

He said: “There’s a rule that we’re currently bound by, a Treasury rule which means that the UK Government can’t spend money in areas that are devolved.”

But Gove (pictured below) added: “I think that once we’ve given the Scottish Government their fair share, the UK Government should be able to spend additional money on the basis of need for projects that will strengthen the Union.”

Speaking yesterday, Ross said: “The Tories never wanted a Scottish Parliament in the first place, and now they are trying to wrestle control of power and spending in expressly devolved areas.

“One of Mr Gove’s first acts in his new job should be to take this threat to trash the Scotland Act off the table.”

The National:

There was also a warning from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who said a no-deal Brexit could lead more people in Northern Ireland to consider unity with the Republic.

He said: “Certainly in the event of a no-deal more and more people in Northern Ireland will begin to question the union.

“People who you might describe as moderate nationalists or moderate Catholics, who were more or less happy with the status quo, will look more towards a united Ireland.

“And we will increasingly see liberal Protestants and liberal unionists starting to ask the question as to where they feel more at home.

“Is it in a nationalist Britain that is talking about potentially reintroducing the death penalty, or something like that, or is it part of a European home and part of Ireland?”

Meanwhile, Johnson appointed more ministers to his government yesterday.

One surprise announcement was the promotion for former Holyrood Tory chief Annabel Goldie.

The former MSP, who quit as leader in 2011 and who joined the House of Lords two years later, has been made a Minister in the Ministry of Defence.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie was stunned by the news: “Wow. I’d have guessed that Annabel Goldie was the kind of old fashioned one-nation Tory who would never have accepted a job in a far right government.

“Just shows, you should never credit any of them with decency.”

Arch Brexiteer Steve Baker announced that he had turned down a job because he feared being sidelined.