WESTMINSTER has asked for the Union flag to be flown on UK Government buildings on every day of the year.

The SNP have said the move shows that the Tories are bereft of "credible policies".

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will ask that all UK Government buildings in England, Wales and Scotland fly the flag year round. In Northern Ireland, separate guidance controls the flying of the Union flag.

Announcing the new guidance this afternoon, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the flags would serve to remind people of the “ties that bind us”.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick will be writing to every council in England to “raise awareness” of the new guidance, which will come into effect from “the summer”.

The Government also claims to have “cut red tape” so that two flags can now be flown on the same pole.

It says: “This will allow organisations to highlight their local identity alongside their national identities, for example by flying a Middlesex county flag alongside the Union flag in London, or the Saltire alongside the Union flag in Scotland.”

However, the Government has said that the Union flag must always be in the superior position.

READ MORE: WATCH: Tory MP asks BBC boss to put more Union flags in annual report

Planning regulations in England that were introduced in 2007 to allow the EU flag to be flown on public buildings without acquiring planning permission will also be removed.

Instead, special dispensation has been created to allow for the flying of NHS flags without planning permission.

SNP MP Mhairi Black said the “overload” of Union flags would do nothing to undo the failures of the Tory party in government. 

Black (below) said: "This idea seems to have been inspired by Tory ministers watching an episode of the Thick of It, rather than a serious government. 

“If the Tories think an overload of Union Jacks on buildings is the answer to promote the strength of the Union, then it shows how thin the case for the Union is. Flags won't undo the poverty and hardship the Tories have created over the last decade.

"While the Tories obsess about flags and symbols - because they have nothing positive to say and no credible policies - the SNP Scottish Government will continue to focus on bringing the country safely through the pandemic.

"The issue at the election in May will be this: who has the right to decide what sort of country Scotland should be after the pandemic? With both votes SNP on May 6 we can put Scotland's recovery in Scotland's hands – not Boris Johnson's."

Culture Secretary Dowden said: “The Union flag unites us as a nation and people rightly expect it to be flown above UK Government buildings.

“This guidance will ensure that happens every day, unless another flag is being flown, as a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us.”

Local Government Secretary Jenrick added: “Our nation’s flag is a symbol of liberty, unity and freedom that creates a shared sense of civic pride. People rightly expect to see the Union flag flying high on civic and Government buildings up and down the country, as a sign of our local and national identity.

“That’s why I am calling on all local councils to fly the Union Flag on their buildings – and today’s guidance will enable them to do that. We’ve also cut red tape, allowing councils to also fly their county flag at the same time.”

The UK Government’s press release claims the flag “embodies the emblems of the constituent nations united under one Sovereign - the Kingdoms of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Northern Ireland”.

The Union flag, a combination of the St George Cross, the Saltire, and the St Patrick Cross, does not explicitly represent Wales.

READ MORE: WATCH: BBC presenters mock Tory minister over his Union flag display

The press release also points to the USA and Australia, highlighting that in the US the national flag is “flown on or near to main administration buildings of every public institution, in or near polling places on election day, and is displayed in or near to every school”.

In Scotland, there are no controls on the flying of national flags, but planning permission may be required for a new flagpole.

In Northern Ireland there is specific legislation setting out the arrangements for the flying of flags from government buildings.

In England and Wales, the flying of flags is controlled through advertisement control regulations, but national flags and their flagpoles are exempt from the need for express consent.