THE UK Government must clarify what the rules are for trade between Northern Ireland and the UK, Angus Robertson has said.

Scotland’s Constitution Secretary said this would be pivotal to understanding how the port of Cairnryan, in Dumfries and Galloway, will operate as a key port which connects Scotland to Northern Ireland.

Robertson was asked about the Scottish Government’s response to the negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Rishi Sunak’s new deal, known as the Windsor Framework, seeks to remove post-Brexit trade barriers, creating a new system for the flow of goods into Northern Ireland.

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The PM was keen to stress the advantages of his new deal while at PMQs, the SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn asked why access to the single market had been denied to the rest of the UK.

Speaking in Holyrood, Robertson said he welcomed the progress announced this week.

He said: “Scotland is still left with Brexit and all the damage that comes with it. I urge the UK Government now to seize the opportunity to start the overdue work of repairing relations with our EU partners more widely, and rebuilding closer cooperation and partnership across the many areas in which Scotland’s interests have been harmed by Brexit.

“In addition, the UK Government must now clarify the policy on Northern Ireland to GB trade.”

Robertson said the Scottish Government is now carefully considering the deal.

He continued: “While Northern Ireland has been given preferential access to the huge European single market, Scotland – which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU – has been ignored by the UK Government and subject to the full damage of a disastrous, hard Brexit.”

However, Scottish LibDem MSP Willie Rennie said the history of conflict in Northern Ireland meant its situation is very different to Scotland’s.

“Forgive me if I get a little bit exasperated by politicians here, who seek to exploit the developments in Northern Ireland to advance their own narrow agenda”, Rennie said.

The Constitution Secretary responded: “It is going to become ever more apparent that Northern Ireland is an exceptionally privileged position – one that the Prime Minister himself described as being so – and Scotland is at a disadvantage."