England and Scotland went separate ways on Covid-19. It may lead to a full divorce

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When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson landed on Thursday in Orkney, an archipelago off Scotland’s northern coast, he boldly proclaimed that the trip proved his commitment to a united nation.”The Union is a fantastically strong institution — it’s helped our country through thick and thin,” he said. “I think what people really want to do is see our whole country coming back strongly together, and that’s what we’re going to do.”Together, perhaps, but not with Scotland’s leader. For his first trip to Scotland this year, Johnson chose a sparsely populated group of islands hundreds of miles from the seat of Scottish political power in Edinburgh; he did not meet with Scotland’s top elected official, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.That may be for good reason. Though Scotland has suffered badly from Covid-19, Sturgeon’s popularity has surged, largely as she has steered a more cautious approach out of the pandemic. Support for Sturgeon’s ultimate political goal, Scottish independence from England, is also on the up.Johnson’s personal ratings, meanwhile, have taken a hit, as the messaging around reopening south of the Scottish border has been . His visit to Scotland was an attempt to regain some political capital north of Hadrian’s Wall.

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