Michael Gove has said the UK government is “open-minded” on calls to extend furlough.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants the job support scheme extended “for as long as it is needed”. Her call came ahead of a virtual meeting between Boris Johnson and the three devolved administrations in NI, Wales and Scotland – on how Britain might emerge from the Covid pandemic.
The gathering of leaders was postponed after the Scottish and Welsh first ministers criticised the “very rough” agenda. Ms. Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford said the discussion needed to be “meaningful” and had asked Mr. Johnson to provide more detail of the proposed discussions.
Mr Johnson called the meeting following the election results across the UK earlier this month, which saw the SNP returned to government in Scotland and Labour triumph in Wales.
Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr. Gove said he was “open-minded” on the SNP’s proposal, adding that the furlough scheme had been a “huge success” which was only possible “thanks to the broad shoulders of the UK Treasury”.
Mr Gove also said the four nations’ “joint success” on fighting Covid had “shown the world what we can achieve – as a United Kingdom.