Scottish independence, the EU and a ‘hard border’

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The Ferret
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Fact check
Fast Facts

In the early stages of independence an interim border agreement will be needed. If Scotland were to join the EU a border will be required, but it may be electronic rather than physical.  Upon joining the EU, trade would be more difficult with rUK, but easier with the rest of Europe.

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What about an Anglo-Scottish border?

In an analysis published in March, the Institute for Government said it would not be possible to replicate the Northern Ireland protocol arrangement for an independent Scotland, because Scotland would be a full member of the EU, although Nicola Sturgeon has said the protocol could “offer some template” for how an independent Scotland could deal with its land border with England.

It is not known what arrangements the Scottish Government envisages putting in place should the issue of an Anglo-Scottish border ever become a reality. Detailed proposals for how the border would work in practice have not been drawn up as yet.

As the UK Government remains opposed to Scottish independence, stating it will not permit a second referendum to go ahead, discussions on the matter are not thought to have taken place between the two governments.

We cannot say how the border between Scotland and England would work, as there has yet to be a plan developed for trading with the rest of the UK if Scotland became independent.

It is likely that trade friction would be caused if Scotland joined the European Union and the European single market. There would be fewer barriers to trade between Scotland and the EU than in the post-Brexit UK, while trade with the UK nations would be harder.