UK’s Johnson says devolving powers to Scotland was ‘a disaster’

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the devolution of powers to Scotland “a disaster”, a comment that played into the hands of Scottish nationalists pushing for an independence referendum that opinion polls suggest they could win.

The bonds holding the United Kingdom together have been severely strained over the last five years by Brexit and the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 14 recent polls have shown a majority of Scots now support independence.

In a video call on Friday with northern English lawmakers from his Conservative Party, Johnson said that devolution, introduced by Tony Blair had been the former prime minister’s “biggest mistake” and “a disaster”, media reported. He also said he saw no case for giving Scotland’s semi-autonomous government and parliament, which are dominated by the SNP, any further powers in addition to the ones they hold now. - Reuters