Sturgeon criticises Johnson’s ’empty threats’ to the EU

Prime Minister and EU chief negotiator set out competing visions of their future relationship.

Nicola Sturgeon has criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “empty threats” as he put the UK on a collision course with the European Union.

Johnson and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier set out competing visions of their future relationship in speeches on Monday morning.

The Prime Minister insisted there was “no need” to abide by EU rules and said British fishing grounds are “first and foremost” for UK boats.

But the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that allowing European trawlers into British waters was “inextricably linked” to securing a trade deal.

Sturgeon said the UK Government was “very much on the wrong path”.

The First Minister said: “Having left the EU on Friday night, my view is that the priority of the UK Government now should be to retain as close alignment with the European Union as possible to keep trade as friction-free as possible.

“Instead, we have a PM hurling empty threats at the EU, blaming them for the fact that the UK is about to find it a lot harder to trade within the European Union.

“It’s all self-defeating and counter-productive stuff.

“This is a UK Government very much on the wrong path.”