Q: How would a border work between independent but in EU Scotland and out of EU England. Would it be a hard border, like the feared one in Scotland? Jack, 29, works in insurance, St Albans
That’s going to be one of the looming questions should there be a second independence referendum campaign, and I’m afraid I can’t give you as much clarity as I’d like at this stage. In 2014, the Yes campaign was able to argue that there would be no border between a newly independent Scotland and rUK because both would remain within the EU. Not so now of course. On The Andrew Marr Show recently, Sturgeon refused to rule out a hard border, saying: “We need to see how things play out and what the final relationship between the UK and the EU will be,” and adding that Boris Johnson’s hard Breit was not an inevitability.
“As that picture clarifies, I will be honest with the people of Scotland but that opens a situation where Scotland’s best interests depend on being independent and in charge of our own future and I don’t want borders”.
Q: How far into nationalism is the SNP prepared to go? We’ve seen the effects of nationalism in Italy, amongst the far-right in Germany and with the EDL in England as well as with Trump in North America, for but a few examples. Do you consider it a potentially dangerous path to travel? Tim Eslip, middle-aged professional, England
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was questioned on precisely this at the Edinburgh Fringe festival this August, so I think it’s helpful to reproduce her answers at length, since it was the most comprehensive I’ve heard her on this in a while. Asked about the types of nationalism you refer to, she told the audience during an interview with Matt Forde that the “civic nationalism” of the SNP was “on another spectrum altogether” from “far right, racist, insular movements” seen in other parts of the world.
Asked by comedian Matt Forde about Scottish nationalism, Sturgeon said: “A lot of the regimes called nationalist today are not countries striving to be independent, because often they already are, but are based on some kind of racial exceptionalism, or superiority often very illiberal and oppressive of minorities, and Scottish independence is not just at the other end of the spectrum of that, but on another spectrum altogether
Questioned specifically about a protester who had been pictured on the Royal Mile with a ‘England get out of Scotland’ banner, Sturgeon said: “The person with that banner does not speak for the SNP. That kind of sentiment has no place in Scotland. You can’t get to a situation in any party where you say we’ll never attract the wrong kind of person but you can be absolutely vehement and resolute about calling it out. The people who put up that banner, I don’t want them in the SNP.”