UK

Boris Johnson says any nation ‘must choose her own destiny’ – just not Scotland

THE Tories have been accused of “yet more hypocrisy” as the London government refuses to countenance indyref2, despite Boris Johnson telling Parliament that “a sovereign country must have the right to choose her own destiny”.

Johnson told MPs that the “fundamental point and the thing that we cannot bargain away” is that: “A sovereign country must have the right to choose her own destiny.”

“And that is what Ukraine must have,” he added.

READ MORE: David Pratt: ‘Drumbeat of war’ grows louder as crises play out

The Tory leader also said that “a country must be allowed to choose its own way forward, and that is what we are sticking up for”.

He further told Parliament that his government could not “accept the doctrine implicit in Russian proposals that all states are sovereign but some are more sovereign than others”.

Despite the rhetoric aimed at Russia, the Tories have been emphatic in their refusal to support a referendum on Scotland’s independence.

SNP MP Drew Hendry (below) said the comments had “struck a chord” with him, but that the Ukraine debate had not been the right time to air his concerns.

He told The National: “This is yet more hypocrisy from Boris Johnson. What he has actually said is correct, and those things should be the norm for any sovereign country, but of course they take the opposite position when it comes to Scotland.

“I think everybody is sympathetic to the situation that Ukraine finds itself in at the moment, and again it is absolutely correct to make the points about Ukraine’s sovereignty. But you cannot get away, as Boris Johnson tries so often to do, with saying that’s ok for one country but not ok for another, in this case, Scotland.”

Hendry, the SNP’s spokesperson for business, energy and industrial strategy, made headlines ahead of the final Brexit deadline after he attempted to remove the ceremonial mace from Westminster.

His protest against the UK Government’s “power grab” Internal Market Bill led to his suspension from the Commons.

Hendry told The National that the hypocrisy shown by Johnson in the Ukraine debate was “typical”.

He went on: “For years they’ve found it appropriate to stick up for those who are in their interests, but when it comes to Scotland they’ve got a completely different tune. If it’s not in Westminster’s interests, they’re not interested at all.

Hendry was echoed by his fellow SNP MP Richard Thomson, who said he also “fully supports” the position on Ukraine.

However, Thomson went on: “[Johnson’s] difficulty is that however much he might like to try, he can’t get away with picking and choosing where those same principles should and shouldn’t apply.

“Democracy, sovereignty and self-determination don’t come with an ‘except for viewers in Scotland’ disclaimer. 

“That’s why despite what they say in public, even Conservatives acknowledge privately that an independence referendum where Scottish voters can decide their own future is on its way.”

Asked if Boris Johnson stood by his statements or if a Scottish context changed his views, the UK Government said now “is not the time for distracting constitutional debate”.

A spokesperson went on: “Our focus is on continuing to tackle the pandemic, recovering our economy and public services, and working hard to level-up the whole of the UK – that means getting our NHS back to full fitness, getting people back into work, and catching up our young people on the education they’ve missed.”



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