RUTH Davidson is “in danger of having close to zero credibility” on Brexit, a spokesman for Nicola Sturgeon has said.

He accused the Scottish Conservative leader of “playing silly games” and said her position on leaving the EU was “woolly and ambiguous”.

It comes after Ms Davidson issued a statement calling for any regulatory alignment under Brexit to be applied on a UK-wide basis.

Loading article content

She said the country should not be divided by "different deals for different home nations" in the wake of the UK Government's attempt to settle the Irish border issue.

But a spokesman for the First Minister insisted Ms Davidson “flip-flops on this issue constantly and has done since before the EU referendum”.

He added: “She’s held every position under the sun on this. So her comments today should be taken in that context.

“And I’m not even sure what her comments mean. Maybe they’re designed deliberately to be woolly and ambiguous.

Ruth Davidson is in danger of having close to zero credibility on this issue.

“If she’s got something to say, she should say it unambiguously and clearly. Does she believe Scotland should remain in the single market – yes or no? And stop playing silly games.”

Ms Sturgeon has urged politicians from all parties to get behind a deal to keep the whole of the UK in the European single market.

Crunch talks with the EU ended without agreement after the Democratic Unionist Party – which props up the minority Conservative Government in Westminster – made clear it would not accept any arrangement which saw Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.

It is understood the UK Government and the EU had been poised to agree to guaranteeing ''regulatory alignment'' between Northern Ireland and the Republic in order to prevent the imposition of a hard border.

Leaders of devolved administrations – including Ms Sturgeon – made it clear any special status for Northern Ireland would prompt demands from other parts of the UK for their own tailor-made Brexit.

Ms Davidson said: "The question on the Brexit ballot paper asked voters whether the UK should stay or leave the European Union - it did not ask if the country should be divided by different deals for different home nations.

"While I recognise the complexity of the current negotiations, no government of the Conservative and Unionist Party should countenance any deal that compromises the political, economic or constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.

"All sides agree there should be no return to the borders of the past between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"Similarly, jeopardising the UK's own internal market is in no-one's interest.

"If regulatory alignment in a number of specific areas is the requirement for a frictionless border, then the Prime Minister should conclude this must be on a UK-wide basis."

Ms Sturgeon's spokesman said she had had no direct contact with the Prime Minister or other UK Government ministers over the last couple of days.