Published on 14 Oct 2016

Nicola Sturgeon: border checks ‘lack all credibility’

Nicola Sturgeon feels that Theresa May has gifted her a priceless argument for the second Scottish independence referendum whenever it comes.

Every time the UK government talks of maintaining excellent trade with Ireland, a separate nation and an EU member,  she says it’s removing all credibility for the claim that an independent Scotland could be harming Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK.

SNP figures are also closely watching the discussions between London and Dublin on how to stop a hard border happening between Northern Ireland and Ireland, saying they provide a template for an invisible border between an independent Scotland and  England. In London, ministers say that the SNP’s hopes for a relaxed immigration policy (on display again in the conference chamber today) would mean there couldn’t be an open border.

Nicola Sturgeon said today in an interview with Channel 4 News that any suggestion that there would need to be border checks between England and Scotland if Scotland opted for independence and went back into the EU “lack all credibility”.

Scotland’s First Minister said trust hadn’t broken down between her and Theresa May but “it has yet to be properly established”.

The SNP leader, who addresses her conference in Glasgow tomorrow, said those in the British Government who accused her of bluster in threatening an independence referendum were “very daft”. “This is not a game of chicken,” she said.

I asked if she had received any private assurances from EU leaders normally hostile to breakaway nations being given EU membership that an independent Scotland would get back into the EU club if it had fallen out of the EU as part of Brexit. Mrs Sturgeon said “I haven’t gone looking for them” but acknowledged those sort of questions would have to be asked further down the track.

Scotland’s First Minister said talk of Scotland’s deficit, currently at 15 per cent, being comparable with Greece’s was “quite outrageous”. She said “I don’t think people realise how deeply offensive it is” to compare Scotland with Greece and suggested that her political opponents would pay a price with public support if they keep making comparisons like that.

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9 reader comments

  1. Ray Taylor says:

    Dear Sir.
    The first time I’ve ever watched channel 4 news. I watched your interview with Nicola Sturgeon. You sir are great..Really interesting and the way you asked and asked again was very impressI’ve.
    I had found myself yesterday feeling rather agrieved by her second referendum talk and the way she seemed to be threatening.
    To be fair. She comes across as a very nice person.
    I thank you though for showing her talk for exactly what it was.. talk.
    Kind regards.

  2. Dr.Eamon says:

    I watched C4 tonight and I thought that your analysis was poor and your questioning was anti SNP.
    As an English journalist that doesn t surprise me as you appear to be pro Brexit. Obviously you are pro Brexit for more reasons than your Englishness and it follows that as pro Brexit and so English you are at the same time anti SNP. Your arguments are fatuous and do not get the arguments of Tom Nairn 1968 in the New Left Review. Therefore nor do you get the arguments of Northern Irish Republican people whose lifelong ambition is to have a united Ireland more recently in Europe. Where were you born what is your experience of Scotland and Northern Ireland and how do you know that your politics is so assured. Dr. Eamon O Doherty

  3. Marland says:

    In my time as a ‘Northern’ Tyke, the ‘border’ used to be at Potters Bar, since nobody south of that line seemed to be able to understand a word of what I was saying, so I went through several linguistic exercises myself learning to understand Estuary English and, when working in a bank in Piccadilly, I had to learn to enunciate the real Queen’s English when serving our customer the ‘Duchess’.

    Having spent the last 40 years in the true ‘Northern’ half of the UK where my friendly, non-xenophobic Scots have no trouble understanding ‘bairns’ as ‘weans’ and ‘yatt’ as ‘yett’, the neoliberal border is clearly now in the English ‘Central Belt’ running from Liverpool on the Mersey as far as ‘Ull on the ‘Umber. Above that line there is no appreciably large city and no really large industry worthy of Brexit consideration now that oil, gas and renewables are being trashed, so one can see how nuke power and weapon sites are all that it is strategically useful for.

    So I suggest the solution to the so-called ‘border’ problem is quite easy: fence off the strategic defence enclaves with more razor wire and concrete and then build a modern higher wall (like Brexitlandia and other ‘exceptionalist’ powers are doing in Calais, the Occupied Territories and Mexico) by taking all the stones from the old walls of Hadrian and Antoninus and install a new frontier from Morecambe Bay to Flamborough Head, patrolled by drones. Then start drilling under the North horizontally for hundreds of miles to start sucking all that wonderful shale gas out of us (like the South had previously done with oil), and hopefully the seismic shocks will cut us tectonically adrift to live life as a separate independent, civilised territory moored to Norway or Denmark. Then we wouldn’t have problems remaining a part of the EU, and England could carry on by itself as the most overcrowded land of ingrates, happily free from us remoaners forever. ]{:O))

    1. Fghhh says:
  4. BarryF says:

    Why doesn’t Nicola Sturgeon stop lying to the Scottish electorate , rename the SNP as the “Ruled from Brussels” Party, in line with her policies?

    1. Marland says:

      We are no more ruled by Brussels than England is. You will not have any more control over your country outside the EU: airports and big power companies are run by the Spanish and their ’slingers’ are building the new Forth bridge because of the lack of skilled British workers (since we hardly really make anything ourselves nowadays anyway), the carmakers belong to the Japanese, the train builders are a Canadian firm, the more successful supermarkets are either US or German owned, the nuclear industry is going to be French and Chinese, and so on – all England does is sit around betting on the markets and printing more virtual money to pump up the profits. The City may even move over to the continent with us and leave England with no money at all now the deficit is rising once again and corporation tax has plummeted this month.

  5. jack says:

    Nicola Sturgeon obviously had tantrums as a child.
    She must have been an MP when Salmond ASKED the Scots about Leaving the UK!
    THE CITIZENS by a majority (remember them), said NO THANKS!!(A binding vote!!)
    What bit of NO does miss Sturgeon NOT understand?
    PS The Trident base employs approx 20.000 workers, will that be relocated to Belgium to curry favour with the out of touch EU Crats??, or will we Brits relocate it to Barrow or Plymouth saving jobs and cash, which is what politicians are supposed to DO for their constituents….isn`t it???

    1. Marland says:

      First define “Trident base” – Faslane is the submarine base and Coulport the missile silo.
      Either way, I haven’t seen 20,000 people being employed there and if it is ‘supplies’ you refer to, most of those come from England – in fact Helensburgh, the nearest town, sees few of the personnel on the bases as they have their own accommodation, restaurants, cinemas, etc. and bring in their own supplies, so shops in Helensburgh get virtually no custom or profit from the bases. Even 500 local cleaners would be an exaggeration (how would they all get security clearance). Policing apparently is a problem and the police sevice are undermanned and struggle to cope from recent reports.
      I doubt you would get 20,000 jobs out of any move to Plymouth, so your whole argument is fantasy.

      Relocating the bases to the South Coast where the other subs used to be would make no big dent in the Scottish economy and the bases would merely be converted into dock facilities for more peaceful purposes to make up for any loss.

  6. David A Henderson says:

    I’m Scottish Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will never shut up about independence. I voted no on 18th Sept 2014 they just will not except it, frankly Sturgeon is aff er heid.

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