Politics

Covid: Boris Johnson agrees to “swift engagement” with Treasury in Nicola Sturgeon phone call

Boris Johnson has agreed that there needs to be “swift engagement” with the Treasury over potential Covid-10 financial support for businesses on his phone call with Nicola Sturgeon today, a spokesperson for the First Minister has said. 

He said that talks between the Prime Minister and First Minister had been “constructive” and Mr Johnson had committed to further talks over the weekend. 

Ms Sturgeon requested to speak to the Prime Minister on Thursday over financial schemes to help businesses in the wake of the Omicron variant. 

She has said that she doesn’t have the funds from Westminster to compensate businesses. 

READ MORE: Omicron now dominant strain in Scotland as ‘tsunami’ of cases hits

“The First Minister had a constructive – though at this stage inconclusive – discussion with the Prime Minister,” the spokesperson said.

“They shared respective views on the current Omicron situation and agreed that it represents a significant threat to health and the economy.

“The First Minister emphasised the extreme urgency of the crisis for businesses in the hospitality, events, culture and related sectors which are already suffering a severe financial impact, and stressed that they needed immediate assurances of support from the Treasury.

“The Prime Minister agreed that there needed to be swift engagement with the Treasury on the immediate action needed, and committed to further talks over the weekend.”

No.10 has said that the Prime Minister and the First Minister agreed on the importance of close collaboration for the benefit of citizens across the UK, and discussed the shared challenges including the economic disruption caused by Covid, and will continue to work together.

HeraldScotland:

The Prime Minister confirmed the UK Government will be convening a COBRA meeting over the weekend with counterparts from the devolved administrations to continue discussions.

A spokesperson for the First Minister added: “The First Minister also made clear that the devolved administrations require clarity that additional funding support would be available – and also on how it can be triggered by any or all of the UK administrations – in the event of further protective measures being necessary to tackle the virus in the period ahead.”  

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