BBC Scotland’s business editor warns of Customs Checks at the border with England if Scotland gets Northern Ireland deal

A special Brexit deal for Scotland, similar to that granted to Northern Ireland, could lead to border checks on goods travelling to-and-from England, BBC Scotland’s business editor has claimed.

Douglas Fraser was commenting on Nicola Sturgeon’s demand that Scotland be granted the same special deal as Northern Ireland when the UK leaves the EU.  The First Minister has warned that Northern Ireland will have a significant advantage over Scotland if the province is allowed to remain in the Single Market with Scotland forced to leave.

Commenting on the imbalance that would result if Scotland is ignored, Fraser echoed the warning of the First Minister, saying of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement: “It keeps Northern Ireland within the UK market and within the European Union market as well, potentially being a bridgehead for both, so very attractive for inward investors.

“And from Scotland’s perspective, Northern Ireland would be at a competitive advantage if that came to pass.”


The BBC business editor insisted that a similar deal for Scotland, whilst offering frictionless trade between Scotland and the rest of the European Union, would put Scotland at a competitive advantage over England.

He said Scotland: “… would have frictionless trade with the rest of the European Union.  Industrial and food standards would be recognised as remaining fully aligned with EU rules, that would put it at an advantage over English business when trading with the European Union.”


However Fraser warned that giving Scotland a similar arrangement to that of Northern Ireland could lead to increased customs checks at the border with England.

He added: “But on some issues where you get differences in regulation on food safety standards for instance, you could potentially see more checks on trade between Scotland and England.”


Threats of customs checks at the border between Scotland and England were made repeatedly throughout the Scottish independence referendum.

In March 2012, then Home Secretary Theresa May said: “If there was a separate Scotland there could very well be a some sort of border check, but what that would be, to what extent that would be necessary, would depend on the issues about whether Scotland was in Schengen.”

That the warning has now been resurrected by BBC Scotland’s business and economy editor will fuel speculation that some within the BBC are seeking to undermine the Scottish government’s Brexit stance.

Sixty two percent of voters in Scotland opted to remain in the European Union, with only thirty eight per cent voting to leave.  The SNP has demanded Scotland’s view be respected and the nation be allowed to remain in the Customs Union and Single Market after Brexit.

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12 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s business editor warns of Customs Checks at the border with England if Scotland gets Northern Ireland deal

  1. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Douglas is just doing his patriotic duty, defending “The Precioussss Union” as per the British Nationalist Broadcasters Royal Charter (aka ‘only obeying orders’).

    6. The Public Purposes

    The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows.

    (4) ………and help contribute to the social cohesion and wellbeing of the United Kingdom.

    Remember these BritNat Zealots will protect it to their “last breath” as per Mundell Last Viceroy of Scotland:

    Why do their increasingly shrill statements make me think of another bunch of hardcore Right Wing Fascists who were still believing victory was possible as they defended the rubble of Berlin in May 1945?

    #Dissolve The Union

  2. John

    It’s going to be fine Douglas , you worry to much , if it’s a border in the sea for Ireland then that will be fine for Scotland also !

    1. Me Bungo Pony

      Shhhhhh! Stop being logical and reasonable. You should know by now it sends unionists into a frothy rage of incoherent bile. Shame on you and your obvious disregard for their health and well being.

  3. Bob

    Douglas is choosing not to listen to interviews on BBC Radio Scotland. SNP spokesperson clearly stating that they are calling for the same arrangements throughout the UK. No need fir border checks anywhere. No part of the UK disadvantaged.

  4. Alison Forsyth

    is This the best you can come up with a bloody border for goods and animals – project fear done and dusted in Scotland no one cares

  5. Douglas

    To be fair, some sort of border would be needed. It would be a nuisance but far less damaging than exiting the single market.

    This is a product of the rUK Brexit insanity. It will be used against us (complete with the re-cycled ‘U.K. single market’ nonsense). It would be much simpler if rUK called off the idiocy of leaving the Single Market -but that is unlikely.

    The BBC propaganda machine will, off course, exaggerate the difficulties and minimise the benefits of Scotland getting the same deal as Northern Ireland.

    It is all largely academic but the Scottish Governments needs to try.

    The chances of the proposed plan for Northern Ireland being agreed are slim and the chances of us getting the same are even more remote. It would not suit the Brexit agenda to have a successful Scotland within the Single Market (and the U.K. ) just over the border from the Brexited disaster area. They need to paint the disaster as unavoidable. The only way to make this work is Independence in Europe -with the EU covering our back in the same way that they have done for Ireland.

    We are heading for a big crash.

    Now then, which button do I press to make the ejector seat work?

  6. AngusSkye

    Has it escaped Douglas Fraser that there will be just such a border between Northern Ireland and Scotland unless Scotland has the same deal as NI?

  7. bringiton

    I believe that Scotland is self sufficient in food,water and power which are the essentials for sustaining life.
    England isn’t so the idea that they would erect unneccessary borders would just compound the problems they are going to have at Dover etc.
    England needs to trade in order to survive which at the moment includes trading Scottish produce (on our behalf).
    Limiting the flow of trade within the British isles will hurt England more than any of the other nations so definitely not in their interests to have hard borders anywhere.

  8. bringiton

    And,of course,all part of the Scottish dependency narrative fostered and engineered by the Westminster establishment and their propaganda outlets.

  9. Sandra

    I am sure we can find enough brickies to rebuild the Scots version of Hardians wall. If a hard border is the cist of independance then so be it, we can live with that. We can always start shipping from Scottish ports which would truly reflect our exports not have them massaged into “UK” figures.About time we start putting the infrastructure in place to stand on our own two feet. It is ridiculous that we have to go to English ports to leave the country.

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