PM: Union stronger than ever

23 Jul 2020 02:49 PM

Marking one year as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will today visit Scotland to reaffirm his commitment to supporting all parts of the UK through the pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to the union, marking one year as Prime Minister with a visit to Scotland and pledging further support for Scottish communities.

Ahead of the visit, the Prime Minister reiterated how the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated, more than ever, that each part of the UK benefits from being together and the strength of the union has helped us through this crisis.

In Scotland, the UK Treasury has protected over 900,000 jobs and granted thousands of businesses loans; the UK’s armed forces has airlifted critically ill patients from some of the most remote communities, helped convert the temporary hospitals and ran mobile testing sites; and the Department of Health and Social Care has procured millions of pieces of PPE to keep Scottish frontline workers safe. This is on top of £4.6 billion we have given straight to the Scottish administration to help tackle coronavirus.

The Prime Minister has also announced further support to Scottish communities, committing £50 million to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, to help develop the islands’ economic potential. The announcement means that every part of Scotland is now covered by the innovative growth deals and takes the UK Government’s investment in these to more than £1.5 billion.

The multi-million-pound pot for the islands will lead to investment in local projects, driving sustainable economic growth and creating jobs. Projects set to be supported by the Islands Growth deal could include those developing space technology and others researching new renewable energy systems.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

When I stood on the steps of Downing Street one year ago, I pledged to be a Prime Minister for every corner of the United Kingdom. Whether you are from East Kilbride or Dumfries, Motherwell or Paisley, I promised to level up across Britain and close the opportunity gap.

The last six months have shown exactly why the historic and heartfelt bond that ties the four nations of our country together is so important and the sheer might of our union has been proven once again.

In Scotland, the UK’s magnificent armed forces have been on the ground doing vital work to support the NHS, from setting up and running mobile testing sites to airlifting critically ill patients to hospitals from some of Scotland’s most remote communities. And the UK Treasury stepped in to save the jobs of a third of Scotland’s entire workforce and kept the wolves at bay for tens of thousands of Scottish businesses.

More than ever, this shows what we can achieve when we stand together, as one United Kingdom.

During the PM’s visit, he will meet with members of the military based in Scotland and their families to thank them for their ongoing work in the coronavirus response.

Following the Islands Deal announcement, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:

The City Region and Growth Deals will be crucial to our economic recovery from coronavirus. Today’s announcement means that every corner of Scotland will benefit from these and takes the UK Government’s investment in growth deals across Scotland to more than £1.5 billion.

These deals are just part of the unprecedented support that the UK Government is providing to people and businesses in Scotland during this time. We have supported 900,000 jobs in Scotland with our furlough and self-employed schemes, including 11,600 across the islands.

We look forward to working with our partners across the islands and the devolved administration in Scotland to develop innovative and effective proposals.

Notes to Editors

The UK Government has been working flat out to help Scotland deal with the pandemic.

People and businesses in Scotland benefiting from UK-wide support schemes from the UK Treasury include:

Scottish jobs will also be protected by:

The UK Treasury is providing additional funding to the Scottish administration through the Barnet Formula – £4.6 billion.

The UK Department of Health and Social Care is supporting coronavirus testing with a national strategy. That testing strategy includes:

The UK Department of Health and Social Care is supporting the development of a coronavirus vaccine, and has secured early access to 90 million doses for the whole of the UK. As a result, Scotland will have enough to vaccinate and protect priority groups such as frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk.

Our nationwide PPE procurement strategy is delivering kit to frontline workers right across the UK. So far, more than six million pieces of PPE have been delivered to Scotland.

The UK’s military has played a key role supporting the fight to tackle coronavirus in Scotland. That includes: