What the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bills as the largest and most complex air and missile defense exercises in Europe started on May 15 at and near the Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland and will continue until June 3. Some of the drills are also occurring at a military training site in Norway.
The major UK-led Exercise Strike Warrior 21, involving more than 13,000 military personnel from nine NATO nations – the UK, the US, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland – and one non-NATO nation – Australia – began on Saturday May 8 and will continue until Thursday May 20.
The promotion of Lord Frost to the Cabinet Office prompted speculation that Scots born Mr Gove may be put in charge of a new Cabinet drive to stop Scotland breaking away from the UK.
The new rebellion mushroomed after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set the pace by announcing a phased return of Scottish schools from February 22.
Tory MPs also pointed to falling case rates and evidence to Parliament from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries that schools are not considered one of the major vectors of infection transmission.
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of siding with the EU in its battle with the UK over vaccine doses, with the Scottish First Minister pledging to publish confidential vaccine data despite warnings that the information could jeopardise the UK’s supply.
Ms Sturgeon promised to publish the data – which reveals how many vaccine doses her nation expects each week – to counter claims that she is failing to rollout the vaccine in Scotland at speed.
Despite the PM warning that the information must be confidential to protect the rollout, Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood she will release it from next week ‚regardless of what they say‘.
The timing of Ms Sturgeon’s intervention was particularly provocative given that it came as Mr Johnson was on an official visit to Scotland to make the case for the Union.
– Nicola Sturgeon today announced a wave of new lockdown measures for Scotland in Holyrood statement
– First Minister declared crackdown on pubs and restaurants selling alcohol and is imposing 6pm closing time
– Boris Johnson under huge pressure from advisers to ratchet up coronavirus curbs despite Cabinet resistance
Nukewatch UK claims the convoy would have involved at least 50 personnel, including a crew change, and said it travelled along the M6 and on the M8 through Glasgow city centre.
And it says the Scottish Government will likely keep in force bans on large gatherings – such as at public events and pubs – “for some time to come”.
It sets out six principles that will guide Scottish ministers in lifting measures, promising to make decisions that are “safe”, “lawful”, “evidence-based”, “fair & ethical”, “clear”, “realistic” and “collective”.
There are 12 NATO nations participating in the drill – Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US. Japan and the United Arab Emirates will also be involved.
Representatives of Germany’s governing parties and ministries took this occasion to openly applaud the Scottish nationalists‘ secessionist efforts and thus promote the disintegration of an officially allied country. Already on June 26, 2016, Gunther Krichbaum (CDU), Chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee for the Affairs of the European Union declared that he expected that a new referendum on Scotland’s secession would be „successful“ and that the country would remain within the EU.
And he reiterated Spain’s insistence that negotiations over the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU should be handled separately to those with the U.K.
“I am very much [more] worried about the unity of the United Kingdom than the unity of the Kingdom of Spain. I think the United Kingdom will split apart before the Kingdom of Spain,” he said, in an apparent reference to movements in both Scotland and Northern Ireland to leave the U.K. over its EU departure.
Spain has faced its own independence claim from the region of Catalonia, which voted to separate in a referendum dubbed illegal by Madrid. The Spanish government has always opposed Scotland being allowed to join the EU, apparently worried that it would start a precedent for newly independent European states to join, encouraging Catalan separatists.
Indeed, the comments by the Scottish Conservative Leader last weekend highlighted the strength of support across the United Kingdom for maintaining the Union.
Ruth Davidson’s position is not borne out of enthusiastic support for leaving the European Union; she was an advocate for Remain. However, Ruth Davidson recognises the impact of placing an international style border down the Irish Sea. She understands that such an outcome would be seized upon by separatists within the United Kingdom.
The DUP wants to see a sensible deal which maintains the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. We will stand up for Northern Ireland but most important is the Union between us all. It is very clear that those same objectives are shared by many others across the United Kingdom. Both those who were ‘Leave’ as well as those who were ‘Remain’recognise that the four countries are stronger together.”
David Mundell told MPs that preserving the integrity of the UK as the country leaves the EU was a “red line” for him and other Scottish Conservatives including Ruth Davidson.
But he said the Prime Minister felt the same way, batting away suggestions that he told her he would quit over any Brexit deal that boosted the case for Scottish independence.
When asked if UK allies should consider using the Scotland spaceport once it’s operational, the official responded by saying, „Why not? We go and buy airplanes together; we can buy AWACS together; think of federated capability; think of how partners work symbiotically with each other,“ he said. „The more we can — Five-Eyes and allies — respond effectively, or even offer deterrence, dissuasion, we may actually control that space domain rather than being threatened or outmaneuvered in the space domain.“
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:(…) „Under the Extradition Act 2003, Scottish ministers have no role in the determination of European Arrest Warrants.“ (…)