Rishi Sunak will be 'guardian of the Union' and stop Nicola Sturgeon pushing ahead with IndyRef2

Rishi Sunak will be 'guardian of the Union' and stop Nicola Sturgeon pushing ahead with IndyRef2

Updated: 1 month, 4 days, 10 hours, 50 minutes, 28 seconds ago

Rishi Sunak will be the 'guardian of the Union' and prevent Nicola Sturgeon pushing ahead with a second independence referendum.

Mr Sunak who is due to take office as prime minister later today is also expected to set out to the First Minister that she ‘cannot divide the UK’.

The First Minister intends to hold a second independence referendum on October 19, 2023 but the Supreme Court needs to give the go-ahead that the Scottish Government can hold such a vote unilaterally.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss lock horns over how to deal with after Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP

The incoming PM's plan to strengthen the Union will focus on publicly holding the SNP to account for its “failed record" after presiding over poor accident and emergency waiting times as well as the country having one of the highest drug death rates in Europe.

The former Chancellor's new government would also be more active within Scotland and he will achieve this by sending UK ministers north of the Border more regularly and ensure "every single" government department operates UK-wide.

A Sunak campaign source said: “Rishi believes in our precious Union and he and his government will do everything to protect it and make it stronger but most importantly he will be its guardian.

“He [Rishi] will make clear the UK is one country that should not be ripped apart by divisive constitutional issues.”

“The SNP seek to tear apart the UK constantly so he [Rishi] will stress to Nicola Sturgeon that her party cannot divide the UK.

“He [Rishi] has certainly no intention of holding another independence referendum.”

The Prime Minister is due to speak to the First Minister shortly after taking office and is expected to offer an olive branch to the SNP leader to work together cooperatively.

This approach is in contrast to current Prime Minister Liz Truss who labelled the First Minister an "attention-seeker" who should be ignored earlier this summer.

The Richmond MP pledged during the first summer leadership campaign it was “not good enough to simply ignore the SNP when we need a plan to beat them.”

Mr Sunak will also work more closely with the Scottish Conservatives and conduct a form of review on how the central party can support Douglas Ross' group.

On Monday night, party MPs and MSPs north of the border were united in Mr Sunak’s election to the top job in the Conservatives.

Scottish Tory MP Andrew Bowie, who backed the former Chancellor said he was a “a proven leader with a track record of delivering throughout challenging times such as the pandemic.”

He also said Mr Sunak will attempt to build a relationship of “respect” between the UK and Scottish Governments.

Scottish Tory MSP Stephen Kerr, who backed Liz Truss in the initial leadership campaign, claimed Mr Sunak was “a deeply troubling figure for Scottish Nationalists.” He added: “They will have a difficult time pointing at him as a reason to break up the United Kingdom.

“He has the backing of the Scottish Conservatives to stop Indyref2 and take our country forward.”

But the former Chancellor will move into No 10 at a time of economic pressure, with calls for a general election from opposition parties mounting. Ms Sturgeon said the political turmoil at Westminster provided a solid case for independence and said she feared there would be "horrific" austerity imposed on Scotland as a result of UK Government policy.

However, the First Minister said she would do her best to foster a "constructive working relationship with him in the interests of those we serve" after having not officially met with Liz Truss during her fleeting premiership. She added: “I don't think there can be very many people who look at what is happening at Westminster and the implications of that for every single family and business across the country right now who doesn't think we can do better than this.

"So yes, I do believe that everything we are not just witnessing right now, but experiencing because we're not independent, underlines the importance of us becoming independent as quickly as possible."

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