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“It’s almost eroding the case for independence”: Will coronavirus strengthen Scottish unionism?

The NHS has long been used to anchor British unity—and now, it's more important than ever. Where does that leave Holyrood?

By Ravi Ghosh  

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a COVID-19 press briefing in St AndrewÍs House, Edinburgh, where she confirmed a further eight people have died in Scotland as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, taking the total to 33.

Long before the SNP came to power in Scotland in 2007, Gordon Brown had consistently positioned the NHS at the centre of his pitch for British unity. In 1999, he argued that “whether in Scotland, Wales or England, people think of the British National Health Service,” and in 2006 he further described British identity as the “values expressed through our history and our…

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