Neil Oliver’s Paean to Britain

An emotional paean to Britain and to union, by Neil Oliver. I was born British and as a British citizen I will live out my days. My nationality is a state of mind and I have no intention of changing either.

Ferry firm offers to import vaccines for free – Evening Express

A ferry company has offered to import coronavirus vaccines into the UK free of charge. P&O Ferries’ owner DP World said it would transport the vaccines even if it was not being paid, in order to “play our part”.

Covid in Scotland: Vaccine will reach care homes from 14 December

Care home residents in Scotland will be able to receive the Pfizer/ BioNTech Covid vaccine from 14 December, the health secretary has confirmed. There had been fears that homes would not be able to receive the first batch of doses due to logistical challenges.

Scotland has already had £8bn more to spend than expected at the start of the year

The Scottish Budget will receive more than £8bn in additional spending in 2020-2021 than it was expected to in February. The substantial increase amounts to almost £1,500 more per head than was planned and was calculated before the latest figures announced in today’s Spending Review.

Coronavirus in Scotland: Oxford vaccine to be ‘imminently’ available

The vaccine was shown to be 62 per cent effective when two doses were given, and 90 per cent when trial subjects received a half dose followed by a full dose. Dr Smith hailed the “very positive and very encouraging” news during the Covid-19 update briefing on Monday.

Johnson says SNP’s record ‘abysmal’ and calls for unity – Daily Business

PM supports devolution Boris Johnson speaking to the Tory conference today Boris Johnson today dismissed claims that he had described devolution as a disaster and said his comments were aimed at the SNP’s handling of it. The Prime Minister said there was “no room for division” and appealed for the two governments to work together to ensure devolution worked for Scotland.

Johnson’s ‘union task force’ to boost case for UK unity

Boris Johnson is to launch a “union task force” to boost the social and cultural case for the UK following a series of missteps by the prime minister that are seen as weakening the bonds between England and Scotland.

£251 million Ayrshire Growth Deal signed

The transformational Ayrshire Growth Deal reached a major milestone today (19th November 2020) when partners ratified the implementation and financial arrangements for the £251 million investment in the region. Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, joined the three Council Leaders, Councillors Douglas Reid, Joe Cullinane and Peter Henderson, and Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, for a virtual event to conduct the landmark signing.

Free flu vaccinations rolled out to over 50s from December

Individuals will be able to get free flu jab from their GP or pharmacist Centrally secured supply of vaccines available to GPs and pharmacies for newly eligible group Adults over the age of 50 will be able to get their free flu vaccine from 1 December in the next phase of this year’s expanded flu vaccination programme, the government has confirmed.

90,100 Scottish pensioners to benefit from winter bill discount

More than 90,000 vulnerable pensioners in Scotland will receive a winter windfall of £140 off their fuel bills thanks to UK Government efforts working with energy firms to cut their costs. Eligible Pension Credit customers who qualify for the discount were identified after the Department for Work and Pensions cross-checked its records with energy suppliers.

Brown urges Tory and SNP unity to help young Scots – Daily Business

Former PM calls for action Gordon Brown: ‘this goes way beyond party politics’ (pic: Terry Murden) Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today urged the Scottish and UK governments to set aside their differences to help avoid a jobs crisis among the young.

Covid: Four UK nations discuss joint Christmas approach

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “The four nations call had an initial discussion about a co-ordinated approach to issues such as travel over the Christmas period and discussed recent developments in testing, including the use of lateral flow testing to enable students to return home, and initial lessons from the Liverpool pilot.”

Japanese trade deal worth £101 million to Scotland ‘in the long run’

FOOD AND drink producers will benefit from greater market access and improved country of origin rules under the new trade deal between the UK and Japan – which the UK Government claims will boost the economy in Scotland by approximately £101 million in the long run.

Rishi Sunak confirms Scottish furlough payments extension

Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the UK Treasury will fund furlough wage payments if Nicola Sturgeon puts Scotland into stricter lockdowns this winter. In a major U-turn the Tory chancellor told the Commons that the furlough scheme can be extended across the whole UK or parts of it until next March if needed.

More than £9 million funding for green Scottish businesses

More than £9m of UK Government funding will be awarded to 85 pioneering projects in Scotland to scale up and protect their innovations from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while helping to power up the UK’s green economic recovery.

Shetland spaceport boosts UK’s plans for launch

Lockheed Martin to develop UK launch operations from Shetland Space Centre on the island of Unst. Orbex and Highlands and Islands Enterprise continue to advance launch plans from Space Hub Sutherland. Hundreds of space jobs will be created in Scotland following the approval of plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its satellite launch operations to Shetland Space Centre by the UK government.

Scotland Boosts Rural Broadband Vouchers by Linking to UK – ISPreview UK

The Scottish Government has today linked their new Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS) to the UK’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme in

Scotland’s place in the Union is precarious but independence would not bring stability

Boris Johnson’s presence in Downing Street, and the contrast in style between him and Nicola Sturgeon during the pandemic, has created a surge in support for the nationalist cause in Scotland. At a time when Brexit has made Scottish independence a significantly tougher economic prospect, Scotland’s place in the Union seems increasingly precarious.

UK’s Sunak expands help for some lockdown-hit firms as recovery wanes

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak took fresh steps on Friday to try to stave off a surge in unemployment, offering extra help for businesses and people who are forced to stop work during local coronavirus lockdowns.

UK Government agrees to plans for £26.5 million Angus Fund

Agreement has been secured for proposals to spend the Angus Fund, a £26.5 million UK Government capital investment fund for projects in Angus, which is part of the Tay Cities Deal. Following proposals from Angus Council, the UK Government has agreed to invest up to £5.6 million to promote North Angus and Montrose as a clean growth zone where new technologies can be used to improve energy efficiency.

UK Government launches international trade hub in Scottish capital | Edinburgh biotech set to scale up | Research project boost

A new trade hub dedicated to helping businesses in Scotland grow internationally has been launched today, providing “much-needed support for thousands of companies in economically challenging times”. Based in Edinburgh’s Queen Elizabeth House, a UK Government HQ opened last month which will house 3,000 civil servants from multiple departments, it is claimed the UK Department for International Trade’s new Scotland Hub will provide businesses with greatly increased trade support.

Glasgow to get fleet of 19 hydrogen-powered refuse trucks

She added: “As we continue to build on our greenprint for the future post-Covid19, we know that to really harness the power of transport to improve our country – and to set a global gold standard – we must truly embed change.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer vows to stop Nicola Sturgeon ‘ripping our country apart’ | Press and Journal

Keir Starmer vowed to “stop the Nationalists ripping our country apart” as he pledged to lead a Labour Party that would defend and invest in every part of the UK. In his first conference speech as leader, Sir Keir told his colleagues that the party needs to “make the case much more persuasively” to Scots that the UK “achieves more together than we do alone”.

RAF Typhoons intercept two Russian bombers off the Scottish Coast

RAF Typhoons were scrambled after Russian aircraft ‘entered UK’s controlled zone of international airspace’ The Russian planes were identified as TU-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft The breach comes days after British fighter jets and a warship were deployed to the Arctic Circle amid concerns Russia is exploiting new shipping lanes UK fighter jets have intercepted two Russian bombers off the Scottish Coast, defence chiefs have said.

New poll predicts ‘commanding lead’ for SNP in Holyrood elections and puts majority vote behind Yes

A new poll has predicted a “commanding lead” for the SNP at next year’s Holyrood election and next general election. The survey, by Survation, shows 53% of likely voters would choose the SNP candidate for their constituency, marking a two-point increase on their previous poll in January.

Steve Barclay: Covid-19 response shows ‘undeniable’ strength of the Union

A UK Government minister has claimed that the collective response to the Covid-19 crisis has shown that the strength of the Union is “undeniable”. The Scottish Government has been handed £6.5 billion of funding from Westminster through Barnett consequentials, based on spending in other parts of Britain.

Mordor squad: PM gathers top team for assault on SNP portrayal of Westminster as dark empire – Evening Express

Boris Johnson is planning a third summer trip to Scotland next month, as Downing Street switches its SNP strategy from “defensive” to “offensive”. The prime minister will be followed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak later this year as part of a “regular roll call” of ministerial forays north of the border, we can reveal.

UK to fast-track Covid-19 vaccine approval if sought before end of Brexit transition

An effective vaccine against Covid-19 will be fast-tracked to the UK public under plans laid out by the government, using the country’s own drugs regulator to give a temporary authorisation ahead of any approval by the European Medicines Agency.

For too long the Union has been taken for granted | The Spectator

Last month, Boris Johnson marked one year as Prime Minister. He did so not by making a speech from Downing Street but instead by travelling north to Orkney in Scotland. Those few days also saw a historic cabinet meeting, focused solely on strengthening the Union, a sign of the government’s commitmen…

George Galloway demands key condition for independence referendum – Sturgeon will hate

Sign up for FREE for exclusive news, deals, offers and discounts We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. The political commentator said Scots living elsewhere in the UK must be given the chance to have their say in the second vote.

London’s ‘complacency’ puts Scottish independence back in play

Among the many casualties of the coronavirus lockdown were events marking the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, a 1320 document signed by the lords and clerics of Scotland that includes the stirring line: “For so long as a hundred of us remain alive, we will never in any degree be subject to the dominion of the English.”

Boris Johnson to stamp major Scottish projects funded by UK Government with Union flag

Boris Johnson will stamp major schemes in Scotland that are paid for directly by the UK Government with a Union flag from next year, The Telegraph can reveal. The flag will replace the European Union symbol, which has been used to denote when a bridge or road has been directly funded by Brussels.

How George Galloway and I plan to save the Union | The Spectator

For me – and, I suspect, for many Scottish Tories – a lot of my time in lockdown was characterised by a sense of frustrated impotence. I would sit in front of the television in furious disbelief as I watched Nicola Sturgeon, the unchallenged leader of a one-party state, on the BBC, answering useless…

First Flagship UK Government hub in Scotland completed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unwavering commitment to strengthen and sustain the United Kingdom took a crucial step forward today with the completion of Queen Elizabeth House, the new UK Government flagship hub in Edinburgh. The hub will house nearly 3,000 civil servants from 11 departments, to deliver a bigger, better and more coordinated service to people and businesses.

Rishi Sunak says Union has ‘enormous resonance’ as he resists extending furlough

RISHI Sunak said the coronavirus crisis shows the Union has “enormous resonance” as he resisted calls to extend the furlough scheme. The UK Chancellor said taking people out of the labour market for a prolonged period of time is “not good for their long-term prospects” and it cannot go on indefinitely.

Coronavirus support measures help 65,000 businesses in Scotland

over 63,000 loans worth over £1.8 billion have been offered under the Bounce Bank Loans Scheme over 2,600 loans and support worth £587 million have been offered under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 29% of employees furloughed and 155,000 people supported through the SEISS More than 65,000 businesses in Scotland benefited from over £2.3 billion of support to bounce back from COVID through government-supported loan schemes.

We can stand up to nationalism’s false promises

And we should set our sights higher – recognising that the benefits of a strong UK aren’t just felt by those of us who live on these islands, but across the world, too. For example, next year, Glasgow will host the UN International Climate Change Conference when global leaders will meet to debate new targets to stop potentially catastrophic climate change from wrecking our world.

Moray-based military praised for pandemic response

THE contribution of the UK’s armed forces in the battle against coronavirus has been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament. Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston invited the parliament to thank the country’s service personnel for their response to the pandemic in his motion on Thursday, June 4.

The Global Vaccine Summit, hosted by the UK, raises US$ 8.8 billion for immunisation

World leaders have pledged US$ 8.8 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, far exceeding the target of US$ 7.4 billion. The funding will help immunise 300 million more children in lower-income countries against diseases like measles, polio and diphtheria by the end of 2025.

Opinion: Andy Maciver: Try to walk in the shoes of our leaders before putting the boot in

LET me tell you a story; one I’ve never told before. A year ago, one of my daughters had an operation. On the day of her surgery, a package arrived at the house. It contained six books – one for each week she was due to spend in a wheelchair – and a lengthy handwritten note.

Marches in support of Scottish independence postponed to next year amid pandemic

Marches in support of Scottish independence have been postponed until next year to combat the spread of the coronavirus. All Under One Banner, who organise popular marches across Scotland, say that all events planned for this year will no longer take place in 2020.

Scottish Secretary thanks military for coronavirus support

THIS terrible pandemic has forced people apart but it has also brought us together. People from all corners of the UK have shown a shared determination to beat the virus. We have changed our way of life completely, even though it has brought difficulty, distress and discomfort.

Coronavirus drug trial led by Dundee University to be trialled at Ninewells – The Courier

Researchers from Dundee University are leading a trial of new medication to prevent lung damage, which could be used to treat coronavirus. It is hoped the drug will reduce inflammation of the lungs, making it easier for patients to breathe unassisted and reducing the need for ventilators, in what has been described as the “most urgent need” the medical community has faced.

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