Ruth Davidson slams Nicola Sturgeon's Brexit deal response

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has urged Nicola Sturgeon to '˜give it a rest' after the First Minister said that an agreement reached on the Irish border issue invalidated an argument against Scottish independence.

Theresa May and her EU counterpart Donald Tusk announced in the early hours of this morning that a deal had been reached on Britain’s post Brexit ‘divorce bill’ and the thorny issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republican.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cautiously welcomed the move, tweeting that a move on to the second phase of talks was a good thing, but warning that there was still work to be done on several key areas.

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The SNP leader followed up her tweet with an ‘aside’ on Scottish independence, sparking a furious response from Ms Davidson.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “A UK Government that is able to say that come what may, it will avoid hard borders with Ireland/NI after Brexit can never again tell Scotland that independence would mean a hard border between Scotland and rUK.”

Ruth Davidson quoted the tweet, accusing the First Minister of ‘using any Brexit development to bang the indy drum’.

She added: “Could set your watch by it. Give it a rest.”

The First Minister hit back almost immediately, claiming the response represented “Democracy, Tory style - shut up and let us inflict whatever damage on Scotland we want.”

Challenged by another Twitter user what she would have done differently from Theresa May, who praised the deal struck with EU leaders, Ms Sturgeon reiterated her desire to ‘not leave the EU’.