Ian Blackford: No "hard border" with England after independence

A "hard border" with England would not be necessary in the event of Scottish independence, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said.

Ian Blackford says a hard border won't be necessary
Ian Blackford says a hard border won't be necessary

He insisted that trade with Scotland's biggest partner - the rest of the UK - would continue if Scots vote for independence.

If Scotland became independent after Brexit, possibly as an EU member, it raises the prospect of customs and market access issues with the rest of the UK.But Blackford told Sky News: "We're looking to protect our economic interests and we're looking to protect market access."Nobody in the UK is talking about a border in the island of Ireland - the UK Government has said all along it didn't wish to see a border in the island of Ireland."I don't think anybody would want to see a border in the United Kingdom."

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The UK market is worth four times as much to Scotland as trade with the rest of the EU.But Blackford added: "I don't think anybody is seriously suggesting that an independent Scotland would not be able to trade with the United kingdom."

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, accused the SNP's Westminster leader of being "in denial" about the reality of independence.“Leaving the UK would involve breaking up the most successful union the world has ever seen, building barriers between families, friends and neighbours," she said.“It would divide our home market, jeopardising trade with the rest of the UK, and lead to deeper austerity and steeper tax rises.“An independent Scotland in the EU would have to commit to joining the euro and it would create the very real possibility of a hard border with the rest of the UK."