No10's 'Union Unit asked for UK flag to be printed on vaccine doses'
27th November 2020

Downing Street’s ‘Union Unit asked for the UK flag to be printed on doses of the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine’ as part of a plan to counter calls for Scottish independence

  • Number 10’s Union Unit was set up to counter calls for Scottish independence
  • It is said to have asked for the Union flag to be printed on the side of vaccine
  • Downing Street said this afternoon there are ‘no plans’ for flag to be put on vials 

Downing Street’s ‘Union Unit’ asked for the UK flag to be printed on Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine, it was claimed today. 

The unit was established to try to counter calls for Scottish independence and to stop the break up of the UK. 

It is said to have requested the Union flag be put on the packaging of the university’s Covid-19 jab which is being made with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. 

Number 10 did not explicitly deny the claim this afternoon but insisted there are ‘no plans’ to print the flag on vaccine doses. 

Downing Street’s Union Unit reportedly asked for vials of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine to be branded with the UK flag 

The Oxford University and AstraZeneca initiative is one of the global frontrunners in race to develop and roll out a Covid-19 vaccine

The Oxford University and AstraZeneca initiative is one of the frontrunners in the global race to develop and roll out a working coronavirus vaccine. 

Number 10’s newly-formed Union Unit asked the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce to insist on the flag being put on the side of the vaccine, according to HuffPost UK. 

The apparent request was made amid mounting concerns in Whitehall that Nicola Sturgeon’s bid for Scottish independence is gaining steam. 

Responding to the report that the Union Unit asked for the British flag to appear on vaccine packaging, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: ‘There are no plans for the Union Jack to be on doses.

‘We’ve said previously the manufacturing for some of the leading potential vaccines is already under way so they can be rolled out quickly if and when approved.

‘Manufacturers are well versed in the best ways to package products like this.’

Ms Sturgeon said yesterday that she wants a second referendum on Scottish independence to be held early in the next Holyrood Parliament, with elections due to take place in May next year.  

The UK Government is refusing to agree to holding a re-run of the 2014 border ballot which saw the country vote against independence by 55 per cent to 45 per cent. 

A series of polls in recent months have suggested a majority of Scots now support splitting from the UK. 

Ms Sturgeon has said the Government’s current opposition to a vote is unsustainable. 

She told the BBC yesterday: ‘I think the referendum should, for a whole variety of reasons, be in the earlier part of the next parliament.

Boris Johnson, pictured at Porton Down science park today, has repeatedly ruled out holding a re-run of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

‘I intend to say more about this before the election in our manifesto, but we are still in a global pandemic that I feel a bit more hopeful about seeing the end of than I did even just a couple of months ago.

‘There’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead. I’m a lifelong believer and campaigner and advocate for independence, but right now I’m also the First Minister of Scotland.

‘My responsibility is to the health and wellbeing of the country and trying to steer it through a pandemic, and I’m very focused on that.’

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack recently suggested a second referendum should not be held for potentially as long as 40 years.

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