RISHI Sunak has been condemned for spouting “desperate drivel” after he claimed the coronavirus crisis has strengthened the case for the Union.

The Chancellor made the comments as he announced emergency economic measures in his summer statement.

Among the measures he unveiled is a cut to VAT, a £2 billion green homes grant and a new Eat Out to Help Out scheme to give diners 50% off meals out in August.

But Sunak also used his speech to make the case for the Union. He said the crisis had "highlighted the special bond which holds our country together".

The Tory minister added: "Millions of people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been protected by the UK Government's economic interventions – and they will be supported by today's plan for jobs.

"No nationalist can ignore the undeniable truth: this help has only been possible because we are a United Kingdom."

READ MORE: Tory coronavirus response has made case for Union, Sunak claims

The Chancellor's remarks were condemned as “insular rubbish” by Scottish Constitution Secretary Michael Russell. 

SNP MP Neil Gray pointed to examples of small independent nations which have introduced more comprehensive measures than the UK Government in response to the pandemic.

He posted: "UK Gov clearly rattled by consistent pro-independence polling, Chancellor ridiculously suggesting independent Scotland wouldn’t or couldn’t have implemented #covid19 economic support, ONLY UK can? Tell that to all the small independent nations around the world. Laughable."

Responding to Sunak’s claims, he continued: “Tell that to Denmark – went further by introducing a jobs retention scheme BEFORE UK & went further by making it conditional on guaranteed jobs at end, or any other small independent nation around the world who have done likewise. This is desperate drivel with no basis in reality.”

He added that the Chancellor had been speaking “desperate drivel”, tweeting: “Schemes may be different around world, just as their public health response has been, but idea only UK could come up with economic plan is nonsense & no basis whatsoever to say Indy Scotland couldn’t or wouldn’t.”

READ MORE: Support for Scottish independence skyrockets in latest Panelbase poll

Sunak's claims come just days after a second poll in short succession put support for Scottish independence at 54%.

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times recorded a five-point surge in favour of Yes since March.

Polling expert John Curtice told the Sunday Times: “Never before have the foundations of public support for the Union looked so weak.

“Unsurprisingly, for many nationalists, the past three months have exemplified how Scotland could govern itself better as an independent, small country.

“More importantly, it may have persuaded some former Unionists of the merits of that claim, too.”