Nicola Sturgeon admits an independent Scotland in the EU WOULD mean a hard border with England

Nicola Sturgeon admits that Scottish independence WOULD mean a hard border with England if it rejoins the EU but claims businesses will not ‘suffer’

  • She said Scotland would try to negotiate arrangements to ‘keep trade flowing’ 
  • But unionists accused her of planning a ‘hammer blow’ for businesses  
  • Tories said SNP ‘are clueless about the economic impact of independence’

Nicola Sturgeon was under fire today after admitting today that an independent Scotland would have to have a hard border with England if it rejoins the EU.

But the First Minister claimed that cross-border businesses and trade would not ‘suffer’ because of it, as she appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme.

The SNP leader said Scotland would try to negotiate arrangements to ‘keep trade flowing easily across the border’ if it becomes independent and is successful at taking the country back into the EU.

Her comments sparked fury from unionists, who accused her of  planning to oversea actions that would be a ‘hammer blow’ for Scottish businesses.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: ‘By Nicola Sturgeon’s own admission, the SNP are clueless about the economic impact of independence.

The First Minister claimed that cross-border businesses and trade would not ‘suffer’ because of it, as she appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme

The SNP leader said Scotland would try to negotiate arrangements to 'keep trade flowing easily across the border' if it becomes independent and is successful at taking the country back into the EU.

The SNP leader said Scotland would try to negotiate arrangements to ‘keep trade flowing easily across the border’ if it becomes independent and is successful at taking the country back into the EU.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: 'By Nicola Sturgeon's own admission, the SNP are clueless about the economic impact of independence.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: ‘By Nicola Sturgeon’s own admission, the SNP are clueless about the economic impact of independence.

‘They’ve done no analysis on how many jobs it would put at risk or how much damage would be done to Scotland’s economy.

‘She floundered and didn’t have a single convincing answer to dispel the overwhelming evidence that separating Scotland from the rest of the UK would be devastating for jobs and businesses.’ 

Ms Sturgeon’s comments have echoes of those made by Boris Johnson while attempting to downplay the impact of his Brexit deal on trade with Northern Ireland.

The First Minister said an independent Scotland would ‘comply with all of the requirements of EU membership’ when asked about European Union regulations, customs checks and inspections of goods entering the single market.

She said: ‘We will put in place arrangements and we will negotiate those arrangements for the UK that means that businesses do not, in a practical sense, suffer from any of that.’

Under EU rules, consignments of animals and goods need to be physically inspected before entering the EU’s single market, including 30% of poultry, eggs, milk and fish, and all live animals.

Ms Sturgeon added: ‘I’m not denying that because of the absurdity of Brexit and the Tory Brexit obsession, then all sorts of issues are raised for Scotland completely against our democratic will.

‘What I’m saying is we will work as a country to make sure that for our businesses there is no difficulties in terms of their day-to-day experience in trading.’

She defended the absence of any analysis on the financial impact of independence and said it would be ‘to put the cart rather before the horse’ ahead of another vote.

‘Before we get to a point where we’re asking people to choose whether or not they want Scotland to become independent – which is the choice of the Scottish people – just as we did in 2014, we will set out all of the implications of independence, all of the advantages of independence, and all the practical issues that people have to consider so that people make an informed choice,’ she added. 

Following Ms Sturgeon’s interview, Labour’s shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray said: ‘With economists warning Scotland is headed for a jobs crisis it is reckless beyond imagining to call for a referendum during our recovery.

‘Hearing the casual way with which Nicola Sturgeon dismisses those independent experts that she is so fond of quoting when they agree with her and her failure to answer any of the tough questions on separation – from effects on income to the border – is playing fast and loose with people’s futures.

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