Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020

Furious Sturgeon claims Scotland won’t be dragged into ‘shambolic’ decisions made by Boris

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Nicola Sturgeon criticised Downing Street’s decision-making process over the air bridge holiday travel row as “frankly shambolic”. She rebuked claims from Government ministers in London that the SNP were a “barrier” to the plans. Ms Sturgeon went on urge Scots to summer holiday in Scotland as a way to support the Scottish tourism sector. 

She explained: “If you are desperate to book a summer holiday – and if you are that would be entirely understandable – why not think about booking it in Scotland this year and giving some support to our tourism sector at a time when they have probably never needed that support more?”

In her attack on Downing Street and Boris Johnson, the Scottish First Minister said: “I explained yesterday that it has been challenging to come to a position on the UK Government’s proposals with any speed.

“We have often had limited or no notice to these proposals, and that matters because the judgments involved here are difficult and complex.

“Just to illustrate the shifting sands of the UK Government, the countries they asked us to sign up to yesterday is not the same that the released today.”

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Ms Sturgeon added: “When so much is at stake, we can’t allow ourselves to be dragged along by another Government’s frankly shambolic decision-making process.”

Tensions between Downing Street and Scotland flared up on Thursday when Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blamed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon for delaying the “air bridges” announcement.

First Minister Ms Sturgeon accused Mr Shapps of misrepresenting the situation, “which is disappointing but sadly not surprising”.

The new travel measures will only cover holidaymakers in England, and not Scotland or other devolved administrations.

On Thursday, Ms Sturgeon announced that face coverings will be compulsory in shops across Scotland.

The rule will come into effect from July 10, according to the Scottish First Minister.

The instruction comes as part of Scotland’s next stage of easing its coronavirus lockdown.

She also followed England in declaring that the two-metre rule will be eased, after admitting the social distancing had “serious economic consequences”.

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