Brexit: Sturgeon and SNP left with ‘massive headache’ says insider
Nicola Sturgeon has been warned Brexit will create a “massive new headache” for her when and if she will be able to secure a second Scottish independence referendum. According to The Economist’s Tom Nuttall, the First Minister will be faced with a border dilemma between Scotland and England should she manage to rejoin the EU as an independent nation. He told DW: “One of the ironies of Brexit is that on one hand, it gave the independence movement a wonderful new argument: we’ve been taken out of the EU against our will, the circumstances have changed, we deserve another referendum.
“On the other hand, the fact of Brexit creates a massive new headache for the SNP and the separatists in that if Scotland were to succeed from breaking from the UK and then rejoin the EU, then all of the sudden you have another border problem to deal with.
“Just like we had to deal with Northern Ireland and Ireland.
“What are going to be the rules governing the movement of goods, people and services across that border?
“That wasn’t an issue if England and Scotland were both inside the EU.
“It would become an issue and that would be a very hard question for the separatists to answer to in another independence campaign.”
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Under current EU rules, any country seeking to join the bloc has to pledge to adopt the Euro as its currency and join the union’s border-free Schengen area.
It would also have to recommit to the European Common Fisheries policy giving Brussels control over Scottish fishing waters.
In a recent column for the Irish Times, Ms Sturgeon reiterated that independence is Scotland’s only route to rejoining the EU.
She wrote: “We are now faced with a hard Brexit against our will, at the worst possible time in the middle of a pandemic and economic recession.
“It will mean disruption in the short term, while establishing new long-term barriers.
“Our people will be less safe and their right to work, study and live elsewhere in Europe will be restricted.
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“This includes the loss of Erasmus, which saw more than 2,000 Scottish students, staff and learners use the scheme each year.
“It is therefore not surprising that a consistent majority of people in Scotland now say they are in favour of becoming an independent country.
“Scotland, like all nations, is unique.
“The same can be said of our constitutional circumstances.”
Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in 2014 by 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent.
The SNP voted against Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal when it came before Parliament on December 24.
Douglas Ross, the Conservative leader in Scotland, was fiercely critical of the decision.
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He tweeted: “Today the SNP will vote against the EU-UK Trade Deal and vote for a No Deal Brexit.
“Scottish Labour are unsure whether they are supporting #NoDealNicola or not.
“It is clear that only Scottish Conservatives can stand up to the SNP, and put Scottish jobs and livelihoods first.”
The end of the Brexit transition period means Britain no longer has to apply laws made in Brussels or pay into.
Mr Johnson said this means the UK now has “freedom in our hands” and can do things “differently and better” than the EU.
Under the new deal, Britain will continue to have tariff-free access to the EU’s internal market.
However, Northern Ireland remains within the European single market with some checks on goods travelling between it and the rest of Britain.
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