Nicola Sturgeon acting ‘like Trump’ over border comments, Jacob Rees-Mogg claims

PUBLISHED: 14:40 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 02 July 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg in the Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Jacob Rees-Mogg in the Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

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A Tory MP has claimed Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is acting ‘like Trump’ after she criticised Boris Johnson’s remarks about borders.

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Boris Johnson told PMQs on Wednesday that “there is no border between Scotland and England” after Sturgeon failed to rule out “border checks” on English visitors.

But asked at the Scottish government’s coronavirus briefing about the comments, Sturgeon said it was “such an absurd statement”, and added: “What there definitely is, is a geographical boundary to my powers as first minister.

“If the prime minister is questioning that now, I’m not sure what he would say if I pitched up in Newcastle and started to try to implement Scottish government policies in Newcastle.

“And see what I’ve just said there? It’s absurd too, which is why we shouldn’t be having these discussions.


“We should all be focusing with an absolute laser-like focus on what we need to do within our own responsibilities and working together when necessary to stop a virus.”

Sturgeon insisted her one objective during the pandemic is “trying to stop this virus getting out of control”.

She said: “That’s all that drives this decision-making process right now, and I really do say to people - whether it’s the leader of the Scottish Tories, the Secretary of State for Scotland or even the prime minister, who I have been at pains not to criticise over this - if you find yourself trying to turn any of this into a political or a constitutional argument, go and take a long hard look at yourself in a mirror.

During Business Questions on Thursday, Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised Sturgeon’s “shameful” remarks after SNP Commons business spokesman Tommy Sheppard said the government is “led by someone who thinks the border does not exist”.

Rees-Mogg replied: “He mentions borders, and I noticed that Nicola Sturgeon wishes to have a wall - perhaps she is modelling herself on other leading political figures - between England and Scotland.

“But, as my right honourable friend the prime minister said, there is no border between England and Scotland and it was shameful to call for a border of that type of kind to be erected to stop people travelling freely between constituent parts of the United Kingdom.

“One never thought that Nicola Sturgeon would model herself on American political figures and want to build a wall - at least a metaphorical wall if not actually getting like Hadrian with the bricks and mortar.”

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