The Scottish Government has said it will not be providing compensation to those in Greater Manchester affected by the Scotland travel ban.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that all non-essential travel between Manchester and Salford and Scotland would be prohibited from this week due to rising COVID rates – a move which Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham argued entitled people to compensation.
The two leaders have become entangled in a war of words over the issue, and have agreed to meet today for crunch talks.
But Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney, has said the government would not be agreeing to Burnham’s demands for compensation.
Mr Swinney told parliament: “The Government does not believe that would be appropriate.
“Travel to the north west of England has previously been prohibited last year, before local levels regulations were introduced and no compensation was offered.
“We are all responsible for putting in place, in our respective parts of the United Kingdom, the financial support to arrangements for business and that’s exactly what the Government will continue to do here in Scotland.”
Burnham confirmed he had written to the First Minister asking her to justify the travel ban based on data, whilst requesting compensation to those “left out of pocket”.
Sturgeon accused Burnham of playing politics over the issue, claiming the Mayor was “generating a spat as part of some positioning in a Labour leadership contest in future.”
But the two are set for a meeting later today, with Burnham saying he was hoping to find a “political route” out of the argument.
Speaking on Tuesday, Burnham commented: “I anticipate having the opportunity to discuss it with the First Minister and obviously we will want clarity on elements of the policy that are currently unclear to us in terms of the criteria that are being used here, the exit strategy, the process for lifting the restrictions on the boroughs affected.
“We just want to seek resolution and a better way of doing things going forward.
“The political route is the route to pursue.”
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