Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out a hard border with England if she manages to break up the UK.
In an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the SNP leader changed her tone and declined to reject the possibility of barriers that would take a wrecking ball to our economy.
She simply said she wouldn’t speculate, exposing the reality of destroying the world’s most successful union.
The scenario would arise because Ms Sturgeon wants a separate Scotland to join the EU, leading to economic divergence from a post-Brexit UK.
This would require an independent Scotland to reduce its deficit from 7 per cent – the highest in Europe – to 3 per cent to meet EU criteria, which would only be possible with huge tax rises and massive public spending cuts to schools and hospitals.
Different trade rules could then lead to a hard border with England, even though 60 per cent of Scotland’s trade is with the rest of the UK.
Not only would a hard border be devastating for our economy, it would put up barriers between friends and families.
It’s just one reason why we are stronger in the UK.
Our chief executive Pamela Nash said:
“Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to rule out a hard border with England has exposed the devastating reality of leaving the UK.
“Creating a barrier with the rest of the UK following Scexit would cause unimaginable damage for our economy, as well as separating us from our families and friends.
“Sixty per cent of our trade is with the rest of the UK, demonstrating the importance of remaining in the UK for businesses and jobs.
“But Nicola Sturgeon is prepared to take a wrecking ball to our economy, take away the pound, and erect a hard border with England.
“The only way to avoid this catastrophic outcome is to remain in the UK.”
On the Andrew Marr Show, Ms Sturgeon also said she will formally request a ‘Section 30’ order from the UK Government this year.
That is the mechanism that enables the Scottish Parliament to hold a legally-binding independence referendum.
It is set to be rejected by the UK Government, because we were promised the 2014 contest was a ‘once-in-a-generation’ referendum and the people of Scotland do not want a re-run.
Latest polling shows that barely a quarter of people (27%) in Scotland support another divisive referendum within 18 months.
“The very last thing that Scotland needs is another divisive second independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon sees constitutional upheaval and divisions in society over Brexit as nothing but an opportunity for the SNP.
“The UK Government will not grant this request as it recognises that the people of Scotland do not want or need another divisive referendum. Barely a quarter of people support Nicola’s timetable, so it’s time she listened to the people of Scotland.
“We are stronger together as part of the UK.”
But with one opinion poll published today putting support for leaving the UK at 50 per cent, we must make the positive case for Scotland’s future in the UK every single day.
We can only do that with your help.
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