BORIS Johnson should work closely with the Scottish Government over any easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Ian Blackford has insisted, as he made clear that neither he nor Nicola Sturgeon yet knew what the Prime Minister would announce on Sunday.

The SNP Westminster leader made the plea as he and other opposition leaders prepared to hold talks today with Mr Johnson on the phase two strategy.

This morning, the PM will chair a Cabinet meeting, which is expected to formally review the process and confirm that the lockdown will, in general, continue until the end of this month.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson signals some lifting of lockdown measures could begin on Monday

However, another Cabinet is due on Saturday to sign off the Government’s “unlockdown plan,” which will be contained in a new document.

It is also expected in the next 48 hours the First Minister, along with her Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts, Mark Drakeford and Arlene Foster, will attend, via video-conferencing, a meeting of Whitehall’s emergency Cobra committee, chaired by Mr Johnson. It is set to discuss the latest advice from the Government’s expert SAGE group.

This morning, Brandon Lewis, urged caution and insisted people should “not get too carried away” at the prospect of a great unlocking.

“We will be discussing some of the options and the advice that is being put to us in Cabinet later on today; the review is today. The Prime Minister will then outline if there are going to be any changes.

"But we've got to understand that this is a pandemic and a virus that spreads so easily that we have to be very cautious as we look at how we come out of the current lockdown."

READ MORE: Ian Blackford attacks Alister Jack for 'opportunistic politicking' on constitution in midst of virus

He added: "Because the worst thing that could happen would be to have a very fast, quick and dangerous second peak to this virus."

Ms Sturgeon has already warned Scots that it is highly unlikely there can be any easing off of restrictions north of the border yet, with a suggestion the R number - the number of people infected by each person with Covid-19 - could be slightly higher in Scotland that it is in the UK.

Labour’s Keir Starmer has also warned of possible consequences if the UK failed to adopt a united approach to lifting lockdown.

Speaking to BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Blackford called for close co-operation and consultation on the way forward.

He said: "First and foremost what the Prime Minister needs to do is to work with all the devolved administrations, here in Scotland and in Wales and Northern Ireland as well.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: Easing lockdown 'should go at pace of slowest country'

"It should be a consensus we can build with the four nations working together. And that should be based on the medical and scientific advice."

Referring to Mr Johnson’s address to the nation this weekend, the Highland MP went on: “None of us, whether it is the First Minister and the first ministers in other jurisdictions, or opposition party leaders, knows what he is going to say."

He stressed the need for politicians across the nations and across parties to work together, saying: "This is an absolute crisis we are in, and it's about life and death.”

Mr Blackford, who took Alister Jack to task during Prime Minister Question’s yesterday for “opportunistic politicking” – denied by the Scottish Secretary – insisted: "This shouldn't be about politics, this should be about the scientific and medical advice and the responsibility that political leaders have to protect the population.

"At the end of the day, we are still facing an enormous death toll from this virus and everything we do should be based on the scientific and the medical advice that we have."

Sir Keir told the same programme: "Across the United Kingdom we went into lockdown together and I think it would be far better if any easing or relaxation was done together.

"There are real problems if different nations, different regions, do it at different times. That may be inevitable, that may be necessary in places, but the principle should be one.”

The Labour leader added: "One of the things I'm going to be saying to the Prime Minister today is that we need to keep a UK-wide approach to this because otherwise there could be all sorts of unintended consequences with people travelling around the country from one area to another and the last thing we want is for this infection to get out of control."

Mr Blackford added: "If we do allow an earlier removal of the restrictions, all we are going to do is run the risk that we have that second spike and the impact not just on the health of individuals but the economy will be greater."

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs on Wednesday that if restrictions were eased in a uniform manner across the UK, it must go at a pace which ensured the lockdown was not ended too early in places where coronavirus still had a hold.

She stressed easing lockdown "must go at the pace of the part of the UK that is furthest behind in the infection curve, because not to do that would lead to parts of the UK potentially lifting restrictions before it was safe to do so, and that is the worry I would have and what I am not prepared to countenance here".