SCOTTISH Conservative leader Douglas Ross will call on the UK Government to commit to restarting furlough if a Scottish national lockdown becomes necessary.

In a speech tomorrow, Mr Ross will also say that the handling of the coronavirus pandemic has put devolution to the test and “exposed its weakest points.”

He will insist the UK Government "must treat Scotland the same way as England".

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a month-long lockdown in England.

Mr Ross previously called for an end to “defeatism and disinterest” over the future of the Union at the UK Conservative party conference.

He told a fringe event that “the case for separation is now being made more effectively in London than it ever could in Edinburgh.”

The Scottish Tory leader will deliver a keynote speech at the Policy Exchange think tank tomorrow titled “Why is our Union special?”

He is expected to say:  “The Covid-19 crisis has put the structures for interaction between the UK Government, devolved administrations and indeed the English mayoralties to the ultimate test.

“And I think that even the most committed defender of the current system would admit that they have been found wanting.

“The pandemic has not broken devolution. But it has exposed its weakest points.

“The Scottish Government and other devolved administrations, responsible for managing the virus in their nations, have been forced to look for detail on announcements from publicly available press releases.

“The SNP benefits from intergovernmental disputes, the UK Government does not.”

On the furlough scheme, Mr Ross will say: “The furlough scheme has not just been a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Scottish people who would have otherwise lost their jobs, it is also a real and tangible reminder of the economic security of the Union.

“Now that the scheme has been extended to cover the impact of a second lockdown in England, how could a Unionist government not restart the scheme if a second lockdown is required in Scotland?

“We all hope that by following the guidance and doing the right thing, a second Scottish lockdown will not be necessary.

“But if it is, the UK Government must treat Scotland the same way as England. That guarantee has to be made immediately.”