THE Prime Minister appeared to have opted for a shift in language when talking about the prospect of another Scottish independence referendum in Westminster on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson, who has the title of Minister of the Union, has previously caused controversy when speaking about the Scottish Government and the SNP, having made false claims about taxation levels in Scotland and suggesting he would ban the First Minister from a climate summit taking place in Glasgow next year. 

READ MORE: Video shows PM say he doesn't want FM 'anywhere near' summit

However, following the election in which 47 SNP MPs were returned to Westminster while seven of his Scottish MPs lost their seats, it seems the PM has tried to soften his language. He still rejected the premise of indyref2

Speaking in the Commons earlier, he said: "It's my belief most honourable members in this House believe we should resist the calls of those who would break up the United Kingdom.

"And as the Parliament of the United Kingdom, we should politely and respectfully defend that partnership and that union.

"I can tell the House that after three-and-a-half years of wrangling and division, we in this Government will do whatever we can to reach out across the House to find common ground, to heal the divisions of our country and to find a new and generous spirit in which we conduct all our political dealings with one another that will last beyond this immediate season of Christmas goodwill."

The National:

This week the Mail on Sunday's front page said the Prime Minister was planning on sending a "love bomb" to Scotland after voters here failed to back him.

Tuesday was the first day back in the Chamber following last week's election.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford (above) also took the opportunity to speak, as he returned to his position with an extra 13 MPs. 

On Tuesday Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: “This is typical of the reckless and irresponsible behaviour we have come to expect from Boris Johnson’s Government. The Tories have shown once again that they are prepared to put people’s jobs at risk in pursuit of a hard Brexit.”

In Brussels, the European Commission’s director general for trade Sabine Weyand – previously the deputy to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier – said the Government’s warnings should be taken seriously. She reportedly suggested that only a pared-down agreement on Britain’s future relationship with the EU may now be possible.

“I think, given all the signals we are getting, that we are well advised to take seriously that the UK doesn’t intend to go for an extension of the transition, and we need to be prepared for that,” she was quoted as saying. And that means in the negotiations we have to look at those issues where failure to reach an agreement by (the) end (of) 2020 would lead to a cliff-edge situation.”