NICOLA Sturgeon has confirmed that independence would create a physical border with England and raise “all sorts of issues” and “practical difficulties” for trade.

Under the SNP’s plans, Scotland would rejoin the EU after independence, meaning the border with England would also be a tightly regulated external EU border.

The First Minister said she was “not denying” that current EU regulations meant that would lead to “physical border posts” and inspections of consignments of goods and livestock.

However she said that she would work to ensure that trade with a post-Brexit UK and with the EU was as smooth as possible and businesses did not "suffer".

Ms Sturgeon has said she wants a second independence referendum by the end of 2023, Covid permitting, with independence itself in 2026.

On Friday, Ms Sturgeon insisted no one in SNP wanted to see a border with Scotland and England.

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

However in a fiery exchange on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, Ms Sturgeon accepted a new trade border would be a consequence of Scotland rejoining the EU. 

Asked about the border consequences of EU membership, she said: "I want us to be part of the world's biggest single market. It's seven times the size of the UK market .

"But of course I want to and will work with others to make sure we keep trade flowing easily across the border between Scotland and England."

After it was put to her that the EU would want the Scotland-England border to be policed, she said: "We will work to make sure that we have trade flowing easily across that border.

"We will need to work to make sure that that can be secured. 

"But the importance of been able to trade across the European single market area and indeed internationally is also really really vital."

Mr Marr then quoted current EU regulations demanding tight border checks on goods, plants and animals.

He said: "You will be part of this [European] union, under your proposals, and that sets out which goods, need to be physically inspected, as they enter the single market - 30 per cent of poultry, eggs, milk and fish, 100% of live animals.

"Can you explain to people watching how, as a member of the EU, you would police that border as would be your duty?"

READ MORE: Willie Rennie queries if SNP majority would be 'legitimate' Indyref2 mandate

She replied: “I'm not denying what the EU regulation see I'm not denying that because of the absurdity of Brexit and the Tory Brexit obsession then all sorts of issues are raised for Scotland completely against our democratic will.

“What I'm saying is we would work as a country to make sure that for our businesses, there was no difficulties in terms of their day-to-day experience in trading.

“But the other point I am making, which is a really important pointm is that right now, we have been are being denied access on that free trade basis to a market that is seven times bigger than the UK market.

“I want Scotland to be able to trade freely across that and, yes, to do the work that takes away the practical difficulties for trade across the England-Scotland border.

“I'm not denying it [the EU regulations].”

Asked about the regulations committing an independent Scotland to “physical border posts” on the Scottish-English border, she said: “We will put in place arrangements, and we will negotiate those arrangements with the UK, that means that businesses do not in a practical sense suffer from any of that.

“And of course before we get to a point where we're asking people to choose whether or not they want Scotland to become independent, which is the choice of the Scottish people, just as we did in 2014 we will say to all of the implications of independence, all of the advantages of independence, and all of the practical issues that people have to consider, so that people make an informed choice. 

“But the difference between that and what we are suffering right now in Scotland is that Brexit has happened to us. 

“It’s not abstract. Our companies right now are having to deal with border issues that have been imposed on us completely against our will. 

“The difference with independence is we look at all of the implications, and we make a choice over what in the overall consideration is best for Scotland's interests.

“Right now this is all happening to us, because we don't have that choice.”

READ MORE: Holyrood election 2021: When are the results?

Ms Sturgeon was then asked about some EU businesses having to pay up to £56 for every customs declaration and £275 for export health certificates to export into the UK, and whether that was “a price worth paying for independence”.

She said: “We will set out when we come to an independence referendum what the implications are, and whether we would be proposing measures to mitigate any of that for for businesses.

“These are choices people will get to make on the basis of full information, but of course Scotland voted against Brexit and right now our export businesses.. are facing these barriers they're facing these costs, they're facing all these inconveniences and it's completely against the will of the people of Scotland.

“So if Scotland and future chooses independence, it will choose independence with full availability of all the information, so that people can take a considered view and reach an informed choice and that is how democracy should work in any country.

“But of course that's not Scotland's experience right now.”

Put to her that EU membership after independence would mean a “hard border with England”, Ms Sturgeon said the people would decide, adding: "Have I denied any of the facts of the rules of EU membership?"

Asked how she could maintain an open border, beyond saying there would be “negotiations” on it, she said: “We will keep trade flowing freely. We will comply with all of the requirements of EU membership. But we will put in place arrangements to keep trade flowing.”

Asked if she had modelled the impact of independence on people’s incomes, Ms Sturgeon said: “No, not yet.”

She said that would be done at the point of the referendum, using up-to-date data. 

Asked about an LSE Centre for Economic Performance study which suggested Scotland leaving the UK and rejoining the EU could drive down Scottish incomes by between 6.3% and nearly 8%, she said: “I think by its own admission, it was a very narrowly based study.” 

Mr Marr then told her it was the same methodology used for a study on Brexit that Ms Sturgeon had quoted to warn about the negative impact of leaving the EU.

She said: “Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Frankly that's not an argument against independence, that is an argument for Scotland being able to take control of our vast resources, make better economic decisions than Westminster governments tend to make on our behalf, and build the same prosperity as countries similar to us enjoy.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a post-referendum border would be a hammer-blow for Scottish businesses and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk that rely on trade with the rest of the UK.

“By Nicola Sturgeon’s own admission, the SNP are clueless about the economic impact of independence. They’ve done no analysis on how many jobs it would put at risk or how much damage would be done to Scotland’s economy.

“She floundered and didn’t have a single convincing answer to dispel the overwhelming evidence that separating Scotland from the rest of the UK would be devastating for jobs and businesses.”

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray said: "With economists warning Scotland is headed for a jobs crisis it is reckless beyond imagining to call for a referendum during our recovery.

“But hearing the casual way with which Nicola Sturgeon dismisses those independent experts that she is so fond of quoting when they agree with her and her failure to answer any of the tough questions on separation - from effects on income to the border - is playing fast and loose with people’s futures.

“Scotland deserves better than this.

“Scottish Labour is opposed to independence and a second referendum.”

READ MORE: Scotland's deficit 'tripled to £40billion' last year as pandemic struck

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said: “The different factions of the nationalists have spent all week discussing borders and currencies. This is what the whole of the next five years will be like if we don't vote to put recovery first.

"Just as new Brexit borders divided families and devastated businesses, so too would Scottish independence.

"Nicola Sturgeon's economic case for independence was garbled nonsense in 2014 and it has only rotted since.

"Nicola Sturgeon has now conceded that driving to your relatives in Carlisle could mean queuing up to show your passport.

"Meanwhile the businesses who rely on sending freight up and down the A1 or the M6 will be pulling their hair out."

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Nicola Sturgeon isn’t being honest with the people of Scotland.

“Leaving the UK would require a hard border with England, creating barriers between families and friends, and jeopardising people’s jobs.

“It’s no surprise that the SNP hasn’t done any modelling on the impact that leaving the UK would have on our incomes as it knows it’s likely to be bad news.

“The SNP needs to explain how much it would cut from schools and hospitals and what the impact would be on household incomes.

“In contrast to the SNP’s negative vision for Scotland’s future, we are stronger together as part of the UK and can build a recovery that leaves no community behind.”