The Times report actually opens with:
Boris Johnson has said that a Scottish independence referendum “is as far from the top of my agenda as it is possible to be,” dashing nationalist hopes of a vote in this parliament.
So, he can ‘dash our hopes’ can he? We’ll see about that.
And ‘tempering?’ That has another well-known meaning:
Improve the hardness and elasticity of (steel or other metal) by reheating and then cooling it, “the way a smith would temper a sword”
I won’t mention Braveheart.