BORIS Johnson used a campaign stop in Scotland to tell Scots he could see no reason why he should agree to a new referendum on Scottish independence.

The Prime Minister visited Peterhead and Banchory before heading to Balmoral to meet the Queen. Speaking to reporters while on Darnford Farm in Banchory, he appeared to rule out granting a Section 30 order to the Scottish Government.

Earlier this week, Nicola Sturgeon said she would be requesting the order, which devolves the powers necessary to hold a legally watertight referendum on independence.

Johnson said: “I think that it’s odd that both Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP claim to be attached to democracy when their mission is to smash up the oldest and most successful political partnership in history, in the form of the Union, in spit of the very clear promise that was made to the people of Scotland in 2014 that that referendum would be a once in a generation event.

“That was an assurance that I think people took in good faith when they cast their votes, and I see no reason to go back on it.”

Pushed again, he said: “People were told in 2014 that the referendum was a once in a generation event and I don’t see why I should go back on it.”

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The Prime Minister’s visit saw him embroiled in a row over a new funding announcement. Downing Street said that he was stumping up an additional £211 million for Scottish farmers. This would be £51m on top of £160m announced by the Chancellor on Wednesday in the UK spending review.

But the Scottish Government rejected the claim this was additional money, saying it was EU funding Scotland was entitled to. The additional £51m was one of the recommendations in a newly published review of agricultural spending by Lord Bew.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “It was a Tory government who stole tens of millions of European cash from the pockets of Scottish farmers. Boris Johnson is a thief returning to the scene of the crime.”


During his visit, Johnson also said he would not seek a Brexit extension even if the Bill compelling him to do so legally passes its final stage in the Commons on Monday.

The National:

He told journalists: “Alas, the bill that is still before Parliament would make it – in theory it would mean that the Government of the UK was obliged to write a letter to Brussels asking for a pointless delay to leaving the EU.

“I don’t think that’s what people want. I think they were very clear about that. Not only would it oblige the Government to do that, but it would give the EU the power to decide how long the UK had to stay in.

“And I really cannot for the life of me think that that would be a democratic way forward."

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The Prime Minister continued: “The big picture is look, we spent a long time trying to fudge this thing, and the British public really want us to get out, and they don’t want more dither and delay.”

Johnson had come under further pressure on Thursday night, when former prime minister Sir John Major branded the PM’s key adviser Dominic Cummings a “political anarchist, who cares not a fig for the future of the party I have served all my life”.

Speaking at a CBI dinner in Scotland, the ex-Tory leader said: “I offer the Prime Minister some friendly advice: get rid of these advisers before they poison the political atmosphere beyond repair. And do it quickly.”

Asked if he would sack Cummings, Johnson said: “Advisers advise and ministers decide.”