Boris Johnson claims Labour and SNP have agreed ‘shady deal’ for indyref2

Boris Johnson claims Labour and SNP have agreed ‘shady deal’ for indyref2

Boris Johnson has described Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon as “yokemates of destruction” as he ruled out ever allowing another Scottish independence referendum.

The British Prime Minister was visiting a Diageo distillery near Elgin, Moray, as he took his UK General Election campaign to Scotland, and he claimed “cynical” tariffs on whisky would “vanish” if the UK left the EU.

Speaking after his tour, Mr Johnson accused Labour and the SNP of agreeing a “shady deal” for another independence referendum – something both parties have repeatedly denied.

He dismissed Ms Sturgeon’s claim that he would find the case for allowing another independence referendum “irresistible” if the SNP win the most Scottish seats on December 12, and stressed Scots were promised the 2014 vote was a “once in a generation thing”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Brexit would mean an end to US tariffs on whisky (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Brexit would mean an end to US tariffs on whisky (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Asked if he could give a cast-iron pledge to voters that he would not agree to another referendum, the PM said: “Absolutely, there is no case… people were promised in 2014 – absolutely clearly – that it would be a once in a generation event, and I see no reason why we should go back on that pledge.”

Reacting to Labour’s statement that they would not do any deals with the SNP, Mr Johnson said: “Pull the other one – it’s got bells on.

“It’s perfectly obvious that Jeremy Corbyn is going to rely on the SNP to get him into power and to do that he’s done a shady deal to have a second referendum.”

Mr Johnson also told reporters he has “interceded” with Donald Trump to get new US whisky tariffs dropped – an issue he claimed was a “cynical” act by the EU.

He said: “You know why this happened, why they put a tariff on Scotch whisky? It’s because the EU Commission decided to put a tariff on bourbon so the Americans automatically retaliated by hitting whisky.

“It was cynically triggered by the EU Commission because they knew that the Americans will respond in that way.

“Once we come out of the EU, once we get Brexit done, those tariffs will no longer apply to this country.

“But we’re hoping to get rid of them even sooner than that, and I’ve certainly asked the president to lift them.”

Claiming the tariffs would “vanish” once Brexit happens, he added: “It is only Scottish Conservatives who have done in my view a lot of very good work, not least in securing £211 million in extra agricultural funding but also today, as we are announcing, secured a review into excise on to Scotch whisky so that it can be even more competitive and so we can sell even more Scotch whisky around the world.”

The first days of the Conservative Party’s election campaign have been mired in controversy, following Jacob Rees-Mogg’s interview suggesting the Grenfell fire victims lacked common sense, Ross Thomson quitting amid sexual assault allegations – which he denies – and Alun Cairns resigning as Welsh Secretary over a collapsed rape trial.

Mr Johnson declined to say that Mr Thomson – his leadership campaign manager in Scotland – had been a good MP, and said: “I think that Ross has obviously taken the right decision and I think that you should direct all further questions to him.

“Obviously I regret very much what has happened, but he has done the right thing.”

He also dodged a question about whether Mr Rees-Mogg should resign, saying that the Leader of the House of Commons had apologised for his remarks.

More on this topic

Independent Scotland could be an investment magnet, Nicola Sturgeon to sayIndependent Scotland could be an investment magnet, Nicola Sturgeon to say

New poll on independence published five years on from Scottish referendumNew poll on independence published five years on from Scottish referendum

Sturgeon expected to make statement on Scottish independenceSturgeon expected to make statement on Scottish independence

Scots cite Brexit as ‘single most important issue’ when considering independenceScots cite Brexit as ‘single most important issue’ when considering independence

More in this Section

Air quality sinks to ‘severe’ in haze-shrouded New DelhiAir quality sinks to ‘severe’ in haze-shrouded New Delhi

Australia wildfires burn as residents warned there is no time left to fleeAustralia wildfires burn as residents warned there is no time left to flee

Tory and Lib Dems election candidates in hot water over controversial comments Tory and Lib Dems election candidates in hot water over controversial comments

Police fire tear gas as Hong Kong protesters disrupt peak hour trainsPolice fire tear gas as Hong Kong protesters disrupt peak hour trains


Lifestyle

From Monday, November 11, RTÉ On Climate looks at issues affecting us all including Paul Cunningham’s report from the Arctic Circle.The Shape I'm In: RTÉ journalist Paul Cunningham

Sex advice with Suzi Godson.Sex file: Hard to have sex when you don’t feel sexy

I wish everyone could discover the magic of making a loaf of bread.Darina Allen: Preparing for National Homemade Bread Day

More From The Irish Examiner