00:02 GMT08 May 2021
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    A physical border between England and Scotland would not be in either of the sides' interest in the event of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom and remaining within the European Union following a UK departure from the bloc, Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    EDINBURGH (Sputnik), Mark Hirst — The SNP, which is the governing party in Scotland, has pledged to hold a new campaign to persuade a majority of Scottish voters to back independence from the United Kingdom in the wake of the Brexit referendum, just two years after 55 percent of the electorate in Scotland rejected secession from the UK during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

    "It would not be in England's interest, it would not be in Scotland's interest to have any kind of hard border between our countries in the event of independence, or in the event of Scotland continuing to have a place within the European Union…We need to be practical and reasonable about this and recognize that we would make something work in the event of either independence or continued EU membership," Mackay, who is a Scottish National Party (SNP) member, said.

    Some Scottish politicians have stated that certain border controls, such as passport checks, could be set up in case of Scotland gaining independence. Earlier this month, Tommy Sheppard, an SNP member of parliament, told Sputnik some kind of border controls would need to be implemented if Scotland retains membership of the EU.

    Concerns have also grown in Northern Ireland over the status of its border with Ireland after Brexit. The option of moving any hard border checks from the Irish border to UK mainland points of entry have been considered.

    "I don't agree with any suggestion that there would be any such hard border and [UK Prime Minister] Theresa May has made it clear that that won't be the case in Ireland and I'm sure the same would apply in the case of Britain," Mackay said.

    The Scottish government has been looking for ways to secure the nation’s place in the European Union after the June 23 UK nationwide referendum, in which 51.9 percent of UK voters supported the country withdrawing from the European Union.

    Some 62 percent of Scottish voters backed remaining within the EU and the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, has convened an expert panel to come up with a number of constitutional options for Scotland following the result.

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