Sturgeon pushes ahead with border plans despite admitting to enforcement challenges

Meanwhile, she urged Sky Sports, which has the rights to broadcast the fixture, to show it for free so that those without a subscription would not be tempted to break rules by visiting friends’ homes to watch it.

Christine Grahame, the SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, said that tourists in her constituency had been “very concerned” at an influx in tourists from England and, in a virtual session at Holyrood, asked Ms Sturgeon any restrictions could be enforced.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We are looking carefully at the Welsh approach. On travel, there is an argument that we should make the approach more regulated and give it a legal underpinning. We have to keep that under consideration for travel within Scotland, for travel to Scotland from other parts of the UK, and for travel from Scotland to other parts of the UK. We are considering that at the moment.”

She added: “A more regulated approach would throw up practical challenges around enforcement, although there are challenges with guidance in that regard. The police cannot stop everybody coming into or leaving Scotland, and some people would have legitimate reasons to travel. 

“However, at a time when we are all trying to suppress the virus and when we know that importation of the virus from outside the UK and from one part of the UK to another is a risk, it would be remiss of us not to consider seriously how we can strengthen our ability to restrict travel from high to low prevalence areas.”

However, any move to impose border restrictions would be likely to be strongly opposed by the UK Government. When Ms Sturgeon raised the prospect of introducing cross border restrictions earlier this year, Boris Johnson described her comments as “astonishing and shameful”.

Speaking in the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House, suggested the Welsh Government’s plans were unconstitutional and said they would put police in an “invidious position”.

He added: “We are one, single United Kingdom and we should not have borders between different parts of the United Kingdom and I’m afraid that is what you get when you vote for socialists.”

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