Sturgeon admits independent Scotland will create hard border with England to pander to EU

Nicola Sturgeon and SNP slammed by Anas Sarwar on Andrew Marr

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The Scottish First Minister said yesterday she was “not denying” EU regulations would see goods and livestock being inspected on crossing points between England and Scotland. However, she emphasised Scotland would try to negotiate post-independence arrangements in order to “keep trade flowing easily across the border”. She said there was a need to avoid businesses “suffering” as a result of a possible hard border.

The Scottish First Minister was attempting to downplay concerns over a hard border after SNP candidate Emma Harper announced a physical border with England could create jobs.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Ms Sturgeon was questioned extensively about the possibility of a hard border.

The concerns concentrated around the inspection of goods and livestock, as under EU regulations all live animals must be inspected upon entering the single market.

This also includes 30 percent of eggs, milk, and fish.

But, when pressed on whether she would support a hard border with England, Ms Sturgeon confirmed independence would see Scotland “comply with all of the requirements of EU membership”.

She added: “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.

“I am not denying what the EU regulations say.

“I’m not denying that because of the absurdity of Brexit… 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 are no difficulties in terms of their day-to-day experience in trading.”

As part of their election manifesto, the SNP have said they would seek to hold “a post-pandemic independence referendum to put Scotland’s future firmly into Scotland’s hands and not Boris Johnson’s”.

The Scottish nationalists claim this second independence referendum should be held during the next parliament, ideally before the end of 2023.

There are serious questions about the impact of Scottish independence on Scotland’s economy.

Ms Sturgeon said the SNP had not done an impact study of Scottish independence on people’s incomes.

However, she said that this would be done in the run-up to the next independence referendum and would include “up-to-date financial and economic information”.

She added: “If we had done that, for example, just over a year ago, before the Covid pandemic struck, then obviously that modeling would be out of date now because the world has been turned upside down.”

Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross, has argued that a hard border between Scotland and England would be a “hammer blow” for businesses in both nations.

He claims it would put “hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk that rely on trade with the rest of the UK”.

He added: “By Nicola Sturgeon’s own admission, the SNP are clueless about the economic impact of independence.”

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