THE UK Government is reportedly drawing up plans for a dedicated unit to battle Scottish independence amid fears unionism is not being shouted about.

Reports suggest that Michael Gove will oversee a team which will include at least two full-time press officers to fight off SNP publicity while dedicated special adviser posts could be created.

The Sunday Times reported that both Mr Gove and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross are holding talks with Tory donors over help supporting a campaign ratcheting up ahead of next May’s Holyrood election.

The SNP said Mr Gove "must be living on another planet".

A Whitehall source told the paper that the new media roles would be “more of an explaining role than an attack unit” - amid fears the SNP narrative is “uncontested”.

The insider added: “It also means that ministers shouldn’t be shy of explaining themselves to the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly if they are asked.

READ MORE: Scottish Independence: Opposition to Brexit 'harming Union support'

“We need to listen and engage more.”

A row emerged last month after UK ministers refused to appear in front of Holyrood committees while Scotland’s Migration Minister Ben Macpherson said his repeated calls for dialogue with Westminster have been ignored.

Mr Gove turned up to face MSPs after a change of heart from the UK Government.

Polls have consistently found most Scots back Nicola Sturgeon's handling of the Covid-19 crisis ahead of the UK Government - despite Westminster spending millions on the pandemic.

UK ministers have reportedly been shocked by the polls indicated the UK Government has received little or no credit for the furlough job retention scheme.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has suggested that the unionist campaign needs to “win hearts and minds” while admitting that opposition to Brexit north of the border has contributed to a surge in support for Scottish independence.

Mr Jack suggested that plans are being drawn up to shout more about the Union and that convincing Scots of the benefits of leaving the EU could be key.

Mr Jack stressed that both governments “have to work more constructively” but warned that “it’s a two-way street” and that Scottish ministers “have to meet us half-way over the bridge”.

SNp MP Pete Wishart said: "If Michael Gove seriously thinks people in Scotland want to see even more of our taxes wasted on hiring Tory spin doctors, to lecture us about the so-called benefits of Westminster, then he must be living on another planet entirely.

"The majority for independence is growing, because more and more people believe Scotland would be better off making our own decisions with the full powers of an independent country."

He added: "Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process. We now face the prospect of an extreme Brexit and power grab being imposed, against our will, by a Tory government we didn't vote for.

"It is clearer than ever, that the only way to protect Scotland's interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country. People in Scotland deserve the right to choose our own future instead of having it dictated to us."