It’s well known that there can sometimes be a friendly rivalry between Scotland and England, which dates back hundreds of years.
But when it comes to the rivalry between Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon, things have seemed much less friendly lately.
Sturgeon has slammed Johnson’s “absurd and ridiculous political comments” claiming there is no Scottish border, and urged him to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.
The row has happened after Johnson objected to reports that Scotland might impose quarantine on people arriving from England. He went as far as to say such reports were “disgraceful” and that there is “no such thing as a border between England and Scotland”.
The only problem here is that the prime minister is very wrong about this.
There is a border between England and Scotland. Both UK nations have different laws, education systems, money and, crucially, different health services.
When asked about the PM’s remarks, Sturgeon said it was “such an absurd statement”.
Her disdain for Johnson’s remarks was easy to hear in her voice, and she said:
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 clarified that there are no proposals to impose quarantine for English tourists at the moment, but said she would not rule it out completely.
She insisted her one objective during the pandemic is “trying to stop this virus getting out of control”.
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.
So, in short, Boris: don’t mess with Nicola Sturgeon and, for goodness sake, please buy a map. Because the border between Scotland and England is very real.