Now is not the time to put the Union into jeopardy, despite the insistence of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that there is a clear majority north of the border in favour of going it alone outside the United Kingdom.
That assertion is debatable, to say the least. Ms Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party failed to win an outright majority, and will need the support of the Greens to get its legislative programme through at Holyrood. This is far from a ringing endorsement.
But there is a more pressing reason why any push for independence should not be a priority for any responsible administration in Edinburgh.
It is that the whole of Britain needs to pull together in order to recover from the economic devastation of Covid-19.
Boris Johnson is entirely correct in his call for unity amongst the four nations of the UK in order to make that happen.
Amid the euphoria of victorious political parties celebrating election successes, and the optimism of the public that the worst of the pandemic is over, it is all too easy to lose sight of the serious challenges that lie ahead.
Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs and high streets have been decimated. The grim likelihood is of unemployment increasing further as Government support for businesses – particularly the furlough scheme – is wound down during the autumn.
Against such a backdrop, a clamour for Scottish independence would be a harmful distraction from the real priority Britain faces – getting the country back on its feet.
Unity will be vital in making that happen, and divisions should be set aside.
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