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  • Visiting Edinburgh for the first time as UK prime minister,

  • Boris Johnson was met by a booing

  • crowd of Scottish independence supporters.

  • Mr Johnson has doubters across Scotland's political spectrum.

  • Many members of his own Scottish Conservative and Unionist party

  • fear that his unpopularity north of the border

  • and his apparent willingness to leave the EU without a deal

  • could prove disastrous for the unity of the United Kingdom.

  • Leaving the EU on any terms is unpopular in Scotland,

  • which in 2016 voted by 62 per cent to 38 per cent to Remain.

  • Nicola Sturgeon, first minister and leader

  • of the Scottish National party says that a no-deal Brexit

  • could plunge the country into recession

  • and cost 100,000 Scottish jobs.

  • That kind of economic damage, created by a leader

  • that many Scots see as an upper class Englishman

  • unsympathetic to their interests,

  • would be likely to boost support for Scottish independence.

  • Amid such worries, Ruth Davidson,

  • the Scottish Conservative leader,

  • has publicly set herself against Mr Johnson and no-deal,

  • saying that she could not support leaving

  • the EU without an agreement.

  • Ms Davidson and the new prime minister made a show of unity

  • during his visit, but the obvious differences

  • between them could be a major handicap

  • for the party in an early UK general election.

  • And any loss of the party's 13 Scottish seats

  • would make it much harder to win an overall UK majority

  • and would embolden the pro-independence S&P.

  • After his meeting with Ms Sturgeon,

  • Mr Johnson was able to avoid the booing crowds

  • by the highly unusual method of leaving the first minister's

  • official residence by the back door.

  • But the political and constitutional tensions

  • created by his Brexit policies could prove harder to escape.

Visiting Edinburgh for the first time as UK prime minister,

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