Dominic Raab discusses prospect of minister for the union
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Dominic Raab was asked whether he agreed with Lord Dunlop’s assessment that the UK should appoint an “intergovernmental” minister who would monitor and strengthen the relationships between UK nations. Mr Raab was flippant at the report, adding that role was already being carried out by Boris Johnson and reiterated his party’s support for the UK remaining one country. The rebuttal comes as Scottish independence continues to be pushed by the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon as they threaten to hold a referendum without Westminster’s approval.
Speaking on LBC, host Nick Ferrari said: “If we could, Foreign Secretary, and there is a suggestion that Boris Johnson has been told in a private document we need a new Cabinet minister for the Union, for the United Kingdom.
“This was brought by Lord Dunlop, of course, as the former Scottish Minister, is that the way to ensure the union is safeguarded?”
Mr Raab said: “I think one of the things we’ve learned through this pandemic is that we’re better when we hang together when we work as a team.
“We’re focused on that through every aspect of the work we do.
“I know through the office we have in East Kilbride the incredible contribution that we make as one United Kingdom on the world stage.
“And in fact, just to bring us back to what we were talking about in the UN Security Council, that’s a great example of all nations of the United Kingdom coming together and having even greater impacts and even greater force for good in the world when we’re together.
“So we’re taking up that agenda with great zim and gusto and enthusiasm and I think it’s a very powerful one.”
But Nick Ferrari redirected the conversation back to his original question and asked again if he thought a Union Minister would be a good thing.
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The Foreign Secretary replied: “Well, I’ve heard reports and speculation around that we obviously take any suggestions with interest, but the Prime Minister is the leader for the whole union.
“He takes that very seriously, Michael Gove, the Chancellor, the Duchy of Lancaster, and all of our other cabinet members dealing with Scottish issues as absolutely one team.”
Mr Ferrari sarcastically thanked the minister for explaining Boris Johnson was Prime Minister and again pushed for an answer.
Mr Raab said: “And the point I’m making to you, Nick, is that the Prime Minister is the cabinet minister for the Union.
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“We’ve got an agenda, the UK delivers for all of the nations of the UK.
“We’ve seen it with the delivery of the testing the distribution of the vaccines, the fact that, for example, the military been supporting the efforts up in Scotland, and all around the UK, we should be proud of that.”
A report from Lord Andrew Dunlop, the former Scotland Officer Minister, called for the Prime Minister to tackle the issue of Scottish independence by appointing a minister to manage Union relations, according to The Telegraph.
In 2019, Boris Johnson appointed himself as Minister of the Union which the Dunlop Review says does not go far enough for maintaining UK relationships.
Dominic Raab will meet with the UN Security Council later today to discuss how vaccination programmes have gone internationally and will push for more global effort.
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