The EU will make Scotland build a ‘great wall of Gretna’ at the border with England if Nicola Sturgeon achieves her dream of splitting the UK, minister warns
- Minister warned independent Scotland would need to build ‘great wall of Gretna’
- Pointed out hard border needed if Nicola Sturgeon took Scots into Schengen
- Ms Sturgeon has been pushing for another referendum as early as next year
The EU will make Scotland build a ‘great wall of Gretna’ at the border with England if Nicola Sturgeon achieves her dream of splitting the UK, a minister claimed today.
Home Office minister Kevin Foster delivered the warning about the consequences of the SNP’s drive, saying the separatists needed to be ‘up front’ with the public.
Mr Foster pointed out that if Scotland became part of the Schengen scheme, which permits free travel without passport checks between European nations, there would need to be a hard border with England.
Ms Sturgeon has been pushing for another vote on breaking up the union as soon as next year.
The last referendum in 2014 was billed by both sides as ‘once in a generation’, but the SNP insists that Brexit has changed the situation.
The EU will make Scotland build a ‘great wall of Gretna’ at the border with England (pictured) if Nicola Sturgeon achieves her dream of splitting the UK, a minister claimed today
Kevin Foster (left) pointed out that if Nicola Sturgeon (right) took Scotland into the the Schengen scheme, which permits free travel without passport checks between European nations, there would need to be a hard border with England
Speaking to journalists during a visit to Linlithgow, West Lothian, Mr Foster said: ‘If they wanted Scotland to join Schengen that does mean a hard border, it means building a great wall of Gretna.’
Rather than ‘debating the philosophical future’ of the country with another independence referendum – something the SNP wants to hold before the next Holyrood election – Mr Foster urged Ms Sturgeon to ‘get on with the day job’ of dealing with coronavirus and the recovery from the pandemic.
He was dismissive of Scottish Government calls for more powers over immigration to be devolved to Holyrood, saying: ‘We’re very clear that we need to have a migration system that works for the whole of the United Kingdom.
‘What I am not interested in doing is creating passport control at Berwick. The UK operates as a single market despite the SNP’s thoughts on this.
‘It’s always interesting to hear the SNP talking about wanting to rejoin the EU if they achieve their goal of separation, but they are quiet about what that would mean in terms of rejoining the Common Fisheries Policy, potentially joining the euro, what it could mean around Schengen.
‘We’re coming out of an extraordinary period of a pandemic, the first to hit the UK of this nature for a century, our minds really should be focused on recovery, getting people back to work, and dealing with the many impacts we know there is going to be of the pandemic.
‘That is what we should be doing, getting on with the day job, not sitting round debating the philosophical future.’
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