Some shreds of evidence are so obvious that it is almost impossible to ignore. Just like it is a universal fact that dinosaurs were extinct a million years ago, it is out of the question that under Nicola Sturgeon’s government, an independent Scotland would have a hard border with the rest of the United Kingdom.
This fact is almost evident to every voter except Nicola Sturgeon. Nobody would contest this fact unless she is the First Minister of Scotland who is scared of the prospect of failing at her second chance to form a majority government.
It is out of the question that independence would mean a hard border with England, with wide-scale disruptions to the lives and freedoms of Scottish workers and dividing friends and families on the two sides of the border– unless the first minister’s election hopes rely on the unrealistic wishful thinking that no such hard border would ever exist.
Having successfully clung on to this false illusion for some time of their peculiarity, the First Minister is starting to realise that Brexit and independence are the same things in different clothing.
That admission of truth was let slip in Nicola Sturgeon’s impulsive trashing of expert analysis from the London School of Economics and the Institute for Fiscal Studies that she once had every confidence in to denounce Brexit. This time the first minister is showing her true colours, because their analysis now reveals the harm she intends to do to people’s life and freedom.
Her dark paradox reveals itself in the guarded, antagonistic, crooked answers she gives when challenged by competitors, wiggling to avoid comparisons with Brexit while helplessly admitting the obvious similarities at the same time.
Nicola Sturgeon’s answer to the justified concerns people have about the risks of hard borders with England is increasingly distracted from reality.
The reality is that if the Scottish people decide to live independent from the rest of the UK and cut themselves off from its “single market”, then there will have to be customs posts and officials, checkpoints and barriers between Scots and Brits, their businesses, and their biggest trading partners throughout history.
Worrying about the hard border is a justified concern – and for those lacking in common sense, it is also a fact affirmed by professional analysts and experts in international affairs and economics, the same experts who sounded the alarm three years ago about Brexit and are now being proven right.
Radical Scottish nationalists have immediately resorted to cunning tactics and the misleading rebranding of their economic schemes tells the voters all they need to know about their trust in the real popularity of their hard-border plans.
It is funny how Nicola Sturgeon’s crusade against the union and trade with England mimic almost to the word the logic of Nigel Farage and his right-wing lackeys – that we would somehow be successful in re-engaging with the wider world by building a hard border around ourselves.
It says still more that, in a moment of honesty, Emma Harper claimed that a hard border could generate more jobs for the Scottish people. People might think this was just another example of a member of the SNP “going out of the party line”, but Nicola Sturgeon happily campaigned for her to help her win a seat. If your economic master plan for independence relies on giving everyone a job as we are putting barbwire on our borders with the outside world, it does not inspire a great deal of faith in their words.
If we are going to build our country back better after the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to be better than this. As obvious as the sky is blue, building a hard border around ourselves is not the answer to our problems.