Michael Gove has called a truce with Nicola Sturgeon over coronavirus as he disclosed that their two governments are to issue a joint statement on tackling the pandemic.
The Cabinet Office Minister waved away questions over Ms Sturgeon's warning that she may impose quarantine on English visitors to Scotland, saying it was "political noises off".
In a marked shift in tone following a political Cabinet last week at which surging support for Scottish independence was discussed, Mr Gove said the governments of the UK's four nations had been "working well" together.
He said that, at the request of the devolved administrations, a "shared statement" would soon be issued about tackling coronavirus across the UK.
His consensual tone mirrored that of Boris Johnson during his visit to Scotland last week, when he insisted any differences between his strategy and Ms Sturgeon's for tackling the virus were "superficial".
Both the Prime Minister and Mr Gove repeatedly refused to attack Ms Sturgeon or the SNP government, even when the First Minister accused Mr Johnson of trying to politicise the pandemic.
Their interventions form part of a new strategy by which they will counter her surging approval ratings and support for separation by portraying her as an integral part of their UK-wide team.
Downing Street has shifted its approach after focus groups found that spats with Ms Sturgeon tended to be met with support for the First Minister in Scotland. Insiders said getting angry with her was "not going to solve anything", adding that "she would love for us to go off on one".
However, Mr Johnson is also intent on improving public awareness about the extent to which the UK Government has helped Scotland through the crisis, including 900,000 jobs saved by the Treasury's furlough scheme.
Relations between the UK and the Scottish Government have become increasingly strained in recent weeks, with Mr Johnson attacking Ms Sturgeon's quarantine warning as "shameful" and the First Minister attacking various aspects of the UK Government's response.
Speaking during a visit to Scotland, Mr Gove said: "I was talking to Nicola just last Friday and we agreed we would shortly release a shared statement across the UK about our approach towards the virus so, whatever noises off we've had in the past, the right approach, the approach we discussed on Friday and shared on Saturday is to work well together."
Asked on BBC Radio Scotland about the statement's content, he said: "The devolved administrations suggested to us, and we completely agree, that it's important to affirm that we have a shared approach to beating back the virus.
"Of course, the devolved administrations will move at their own pace in their own way, but the overall direction of travel across the UK is the same, towards beating back the virus and building back better."
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said he wanted the language in the statement to be "shared", adding: "We also recognise that we're stronger together. When we work well together, we can use the powers of the devolved administrations and the broad shoulders of the UK Government to help everyone in Scotland."
He said there was "absolutely no need" for Ms Sturgeon to introduce quarantine restriction for people travelling from England, citing the lockdown in Leicester as an example of action being taken to tackle localised outbreaks.
New figures released today show one in three jobs in Scotland has been supported by the UK Government during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more about UK Government support ➡️https://t.co/igDIE3ah1B pic.twitter.com/lhzdasTaiN— UK Government Scotland (@UKGovScotland) July 15, 2020
While he contested the use of the term "ceasefire", he emphasised that "devolution gives people the best of both worlds."
Asked again about Ms Sturgeon's quarantine warning, he said: "One of the reasons why we work so closely together is we respect the devolved settlement but we also use the resources of the UK Government, including the Joint Biosecurity Centre and the scientific expertise that we have, to obviate the need for that."
Mr Gove refused to state how the UK Government would respond if the SNP wins a majority at next year's Holyrood election on a platform of another independence referendum, saying: "It's not often, although it's increasingly often that I agree with Nicola.
"I agree with Nicola that we don't want to get into a constitutional stooshie at the moment. What we do want to do is to make sure that we concentrate on the job in hand."