Boris Johnson addressed the Scottish Conservative conference this morning setting out his vision for the future. 

The Prime Minister addressed those attending virtually as he continued self-isolation in Downing Street. 

We take a look at some of the key points made by the PM in his speech including the constitutional question in Scotland, his comments on devolution, and more. 

On devolution

The PM made headlines last week with some controversial comments on the subject of devolution.

Addressing the conference he today clarified saying: "Now I know my comments on devolution have been widely reported this past week, but since no press were in the room, I’ll tell it to you straight: the way the SNP have handled devolution in Scotland has been a disaster – from plummeting education standards, low business confidence and the lowest satisfaction in public services ever – their record is abysmal.

"The key is to have policies to show how devolution can work for Scotland, rather than the SNP obsession with making devolution work against the rest of the UK.

"However, just because I criticise devolved performance, does not mean I want to end or undermine devolution. As a former Mayor of London, I know how effective devolved powers can be, for example in making transport greener and in tackling crime; devolution should not be used by politicians as a wall to break an area of the UK away from the rest, it should be used as a step, to pass power down to local communities and businesses to make their lives better."

On Douglas Ross

The new Scottish Conservative was elected into the role after Jackson Carlaw resigned in July this year. Speaking on the future of the party under the MP Boris Johnson said: "My view is clear – nobody could be more proud than I am of our United Kingdom and the vital contribution Scotland makes to it. Too often this conversation becomes about pounds and pence, but what I know, and many others believe also, is that our United Kingdom goes much further than that.

"And in my friend Douglas Ross, you have a leader of our party in Scotland who is the very personification of Unionism – someone who believes deeply in the United Kingdom and in fighting for Scotland’s best interests within that Union."

READ MORE: Scottish independence: Boris Johnson tells Scottish Conservative Party Conference 'now is not the time for constitutional wrangling'

On Scottish independence

On the matter of Scottish independence, Boris Johnson added to his comments on devolution saying: "Following the agreement made at the time of the Smith Commission in 2016 to not only devolve more powers to Edinburgh, which we have done, but devolve more powers from Edinburgh to the councils and communities across Scotland.

"However, at this time there simply no room for division or distraction over the constitution.

"In order for us to tackle the shared and common threat that is Covid-19, the focus separation must end - and for it to end, so must the division. So I would like to thank the Scottish Government for the way it has worked with the UK Government to try and tackle this virus over these past months and appeal to them to continue working with us, making use of the vaccine stocks, tests kits and new technology that come from being part of what is still one of the world’s leading scientific superpowers.

Covid-19 doesn’t care about constitutions and whatever our political differences, we all need to work together at this time to protect the health and jobs of people in Scotland."

In rounding off his speech he added: "Where we can differ over constitutional issues, we also can – and must – unite in our efforts to give Scotland that better, brighter future."

On Brexit

While much has been written about Brexit and the PM has continued with rhetoric such as "Get Brexit Done" the speech did not once mention Brexit, European Union, or the EU. 

On the future of the nation he said: "I know that we can only achieve this if we resolve to work together for that better, brighter future we all want for Scotland and the whole of our United Kingdom.

"I’ll play my part.  I know you will play yours.  I ask everyone in Scotland to do the same.

"And we’ll come through the other side of this – together, united, ready to face whatever other challenges the 21st Century has in store for us.

READ MORE: In full: Boris Johnson's speech at Scottish Conservative Party Conference


Naturally, the PM addressed the Covid-19 pandemic calling it a "plague"

He told members: “Just as we have come together to beat back, and we hope, and believe, soon defeat coronavirus, so we must stick together, and work together, to rebuild from its ravages.

“Where we can differ over the constitutional issues, we also can, and I think we must, unite in our efforts to give Scotland that better, brighter future.”

He hailed the efforts of key workers and the support of the UK to tackle the pandemic saying: "When we take up the cudgels of political battle again, let’s never forget what we have achieved through cooperation – through working across the whole of our United Kingdom to face down a deadly threat that respects no tier of government or boundaries.

"The unparalleled effort that has protected the jobs of over 900,000 Scottish workers through our furlough and self-employed support schemes, and which has helped almost 80,000 Scottish businesses that have been backed by Government grants and loans."

Mr Johnson added: “I am an optimist by nature. I believe that with continued and sustained effort we can defeat the coronavirus.

“That we can turn the page on this troubled chapter of our history. That we can build back better from it, from this plague.