It is understood the Prime Minister’s view is in line with Mr Gove’s stance that Westminster should not stand in the way of a referendum if it is the “settled view” of voters.
However, the Prime Minister remains of the opinion that now is not the right time for another referendum in the wake of the devastation wrought by coronavirus.
A Downing Street source stressed last night: “Such is the scale of the challenge in recovering after the pandemic, the focus across the United Kingdom should be on working together to build back better.”
Mr Johnson publicly said in May that a second independence referendum “in the current context is irresponsible and reckless”.
While the SNP pounced on Mr Gove’s comments as a sign of an impending UK Government u-turn, opinion polls suggest that support for independence has declined in recent months.
Although there is little appetite for a referendum within Ms Sturgeon’s preferred timetable for a vote by 2023, there is more public support in Scotland for one within five years.
Proposals to be debated at the SNP conference will seek to persuade Scots to rally behind the cause.
In plans which were branded “offensive” by critics, SNP members will debate proposals for a new commission it is claimed would show how a border with England could “favourably benefit” an independent Scotland, despite warnings that inevitable trade barriers would prove devastating to businesses.
Other motions claim the state pension age would be lowered to 65 and that everyone would be legally entitled to a job.
There is no detail of how more generous pensions or a universal job guarantee would be paid for, with the most recent figures showing Scotland has a deficit of £15.1 billion and benefits substantially from fiscal transfers from the Treasury, which would end with independence.
Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish Secretary, said the conference agenda showed Ms Sturgeon was preparing to break her pre-election promise to Scottish voters of putting coronavirus recovery ahead of the constitution.
Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/02/nicola-sturgeon-says-hard-border-england-would-benefit-scotland/387