NICOLA Sturgeon has insisted the SNP doesn't want to see a hard border between Scotland and England after comments from one of her candidates suggesting a new trade barrier could “create jobs”.

SNP MSP Emma Harper told ITV Border of her frustration over Boris Johnson’s u-turn to create a hard border in the Irish Sea during the Brexit process.

Ms Harper, who is standing on the South Scotland list and for the Galloway and West Dumfries seat, was asked why if she was opposed to a border in the Irish Sea, why she would condone a border between Scotland and England if the SNP’s independence pursuit is successful.

READ MORE: SNP MSP claims border with England would 'create jobs'

She said: “If a border will work, we can show that a border will work, there are issues that have been brought to my attention that show that jobs can be created if a border is created.

"And again, we want the softest of borders.”

The First Minister was pressed about the comments, which have been labeled as “half-witted nonsense” by Tory MSP Oliver Mundell.

Speaking to Radio Clyde, Ms Sturgeon stressed it is the Conservatives who are fixated on borders.

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She said: “I’ve not seen Emma’s comments directly but nobody in the SNP wants to see a border between Scotland and England.

“This is only being talked about because the UK Government has decided to leave the EU and rip Scotland out of the EU.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “I want Scotland to trade freely across the Uk and to trade freely within the world’s biggest single market, which is the European Single Market.

“It is the Tories that are about borders, it’s the SNP (that) are about Scotland being an independent country but then operating economically and socially on the basis of equality.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chairman, Alistair Carmichael, said: “Wanting a border between Scotland and England is literally the foundational policy of the SNP.

“Nicola Sturgeon must think the Scottish public are complete mugs, especially just one day after one of her MSPs was talking up the prospect of a hard border."

He added: “No amount of tall tales from the First Minister will change the reality that independence would throw up a hard border, dividing families and decimating trade with our partners to the south.

“Boris Johnson promised there would be no new barriers in Northern Ireland, only to renege on what he had pledged further down the line. It’s disappointing to see Nicola Sturgeon taking a leaf out of the Tory Brexiteer playbook.”

Mr Mundell warned that Ms Harper’s remarks “shows how dangerously out of touch the SNP really are”.

He added: “This half-witted nonsense would be laughable if it wasn’t so irresponsible. A harder border would risk the hundreds of thousands of Scottish jobs that rely on the UK market.”

Labour Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray added: “The phrase fantasy economics fails to cover this bizarre admission.

“Every credible economist since Adam Smith would warn that erecting a border between two parts of that one market would be a disaster for jobs.

"The SNP simply have no answers to the big questions.

“But the SNP have shown in this campaign that they are unwilling to look past their constitutional blind spot and will put jobs and livelihoods at risk in the pandemic."