‘Half-witted nonsense!’ SNP shamed over ‘ludicrous’ plot for new Scotland-England border

Scotland economy 'will be bleak if independent' says expert

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SNP candidate for Galloway and West Dumfries Emma Harper was questioned over how a hard border would work between England and Scotland. The SNP said they would ensure Scotland would remain part of the Common Travel Area if they were to achieve independence from the UK, despite wanting to join the EU.

The senior Nat said in an interview with ITV Border that the SNP wanted “the softest of borders”.

But she stressed: “We’ve already got a hard border in the Irish Sea and that’s something that Boris Johnson told us we were not going to have.”

When asked what would be the benefits of adding a new border, Ms Harper said: “If a border will work we can show that a border will work, there are issues that have been brought to my attention that show that jobs can be created if a border is created.”

However, Oliver Mundell, Scottish Conservative candidate for Dumfriesshire claimed the comments showed how “out-of-touch” the nationalists were.

He said: “This shows how dangerously out-of-touch the SNP really are – they think a border between Scotland and our biggest trading partner would actually create jobs.

“Their plans for another referendum would wreck our recovery and they’re clueless about how deeply damaging independence would be for Scotland’s economy.

“This half-witted nonsense would be laughable if it wasn’t so irresponsible.

“A harder border would risk the hundreds of thousands of Scottish jobs that rely on the UK market.”

Alistair Carmichael MP, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair, said: “This is laughable and ludicrous from the SNP.

“The new border between the UK and the EU has already cost Scottish food and drink producers millions.

“A border between Scotland and England would be much worse given the greater volume of trade that is conducted across it.

“What’s worse is that this nonsense doesn’t come from cranks on the fringes of the independence movement but from someone who has spent the last five years representing the public in parliament.

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“Nicola Sturgeon’s economic plans are utterly disconnected from reality.”

Pamela Nash, Chief Executive of pro-Union campaign group Scotland in Union, branded Emma Harper’s comment “absurd” and claimed it showed “how little the SNP cares about people’s livelihoods.”

She added: “A border with England, which is inevitable under the SNP’s plans for separation, would be catastrophic for trade.

“It would also build barriers between families and friends.

“We should be working to bring communities together so that we have a recovery for everyone, not pulling people apart.”

A report by the Institute for Government also claimed Scottish independence would result in a hard border being put in place with England.

This would mean goods from England crossing the border would have to be checked – similar to the Northern Ireland Protocol arrangements.

Responding, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged she didn’t want a hard border with the UK and said: “I don’t want a border.

“I have never wanted a border. I don’t want a hard border in future. There would be no hard border in terms of people.

“Obviously, in terms of goods and services, our priority would be to keep trade flowing.”

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