BORIS Johnson’s plan to plaster Union flags across UK-funded schemes in Scotland proves how “desperate” Unionists have become, the SNP’s longest-serving MP has said.
Pete Wishart was among several politicians mocking the Prime Minister’s plan, which will come into force when the Brexit transition period ends.
The Union flag will replace the EU symbol currently used to show infrastructure like bridges and roads have been funded by Brussels.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross backs the plan as he hopes it will show the “visual connection”
between UK funding and schemes in Scotland.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack told The Telegraph the plans have been signed off by Johnson and Michael Gove.
Wishart said on Twitter: “This is how desperate the case for the Union has become.
“Putting flags on stuff in the hope that we’ll come to love them. You can almost imagine them sitting up all night thinking up this one…. This ‘slap a jack in it’ will backfire spectacularly.”
Meanwhile, the SNP’s depute leader also poked fun at the policy.
“Seems a bit like entrusting the future of the Union to Baldrick,” joked Keith Brown. “Though not even he would have taken five years to enact such a cunning plan.
MP Tommy Sheppard has also dismissed the Tories’ intentions as “foolish”. He said: “It would probably be counterproductive because there is no point trying to force the Union Flag down people’s throats in the hope that they would like it.
“If the Union is so great, they should not need constantly to use the flag to promote it.”
The New European’s Tim Walker described the policy as “crass”, while Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer added: “It is also a strategy they announced five years ago. What a roaringly successful five it’s been for Unionism.”
It was announced by the Tory/LibDem government in March 2015, just six months after the Scottish independence referendum, that they would put plaques featuring the Union flag on publicly funded projects across the UK.
The news of the Union flag scheme comes after support for independence was put in the lead yet again in another poll.
YouGov put support for Yes at 53% after two Panelbase polls had it sitting at 54% recently.
Since the election, support for independence has gradually risen in opinion polls.
Several Tory ministers have headed to Scotland in recent weeks after Johnson reportedly told them to be more visible north of the Border amid claims some Cabinet members were in “panic mode” over the state of the Union.
Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the Scotland Office’s Alister Jack and Iain Stewart, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and Home Secretary Priti Patel have all visited within the last three weeks.
It has also been reported that Johnson will take a two-week holiday in Scotland in a matter of days. He previously said he would take a “brief staycation”. Downing Street did not deny the reports.