Boris Johnson fights back to save Union with plan to move Cabinet Office to halt Sturgeon

Scotland: Polls show independence support is down says expert

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The Cabinet Office is set to undergo a partial move to Glasgow as part of a shake-up announced by UK ministers. Up to 500 employees are set to be relocated north of the border as part of a new Government strategy to strengthen the Union amid increased support for Scottish independence.

In an internal memo to staff, seen by Express.co.uk, the department said it would “strengthen its commitment to Scotland.”

Officials added it was “particularly appropriate that we move” from Central London to other parts of the country.

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: “Decision-makers should be close to the people they serve and we want to see opportunity, jobs and investment fairly distributed across the country.

“That’s why we’ve committed to relocating Civil Service roles out of central London, building on the thousands of civil servants we already have working across the United Kingdom.”

A Whitehall source told this publication: “Strengthening the Union is Boris Johnson’s commitment, this will help to achieve that.”

It comes as staff from several other departments are set to move into the UK Government’s base at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh.

Up to 3,000 civil servants from multiple departments will be based at the property and already includes officials from HMRC, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, the Office for Statistics Regulation, the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the Government Actuary’s Department.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack told Express.co.uk that ministers in Boris Johnson’s cabinet were drawing up plans.

Mr Jack said the move was a reaction to the impression the UK Government had “retreated [from Scotland] a bit over the years”.

Up to 10 Whitehall departments are drawing up plans to have a form of presence in Scotland whilst others are seeking to move to northern England.

These include parts of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which is moving to Wolverhampton and the Treasury which is set to move to Darlington.

But the Scottish National Party which runs the Scottish Government claimed the UK Government were worried about the prospect of a second independence vote.

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Keith Brown MSP, SNP depute leader, said: “The fact Boris Johnson and his Tory colleagues are clearly spending so much time discussing how they can combat support for independence shows they are preparing for a referendum they know is inevitable in the face of a Holyrood majority for one.

“Bluntly, they wouldn’t be spending so much time on the issue and relocating Whitehall staff to Scotland if they thought their Trump-like bid to defy democracy could hold.”

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