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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Home Secretary: There will be border checks between England and Scotland

Home secretary Theresa May has claimed border checks would be needed between Carlisle and Berwick-on-Tweed if an independent Scotland pursued a different immigration policy from the UK.

Theresa May  photo
Theresa May

Related: Scottish yes vote threatens constitutional crisis, says Carlisle MP

She told the Scottish Conservative conference in Edinburgh that the SNP’s plan to stimulate “healthy population growth” would “undermine” her party’s efforts to curb inward migration.

Ms May said that if the independence vote was in favour of breaking away, there would be “profound changes” for migration policy.

“An international border would be created where one does not currently exist,” she said. “This would have implications for people travelling to visit family, go on holiday or do business, and for our economies more generally.

“Buried deep in Alex Salmond’s White Paper is the admission that a separate Scotland would pursue a looser immigration policy.

“The UK could not allow Scotland to become a convenient landing point for migration into the United Kingdom.

“So that would mean border controls between a separate Scotland and the United Kingdom and passport checks to visit friends and relatives.”

The home secretary also reiterated concerns that, under Scottish independence, police would find it difficult to make cross-border arrests and would also lose automatic access to the UK’s wider intelligence capabilities, used to fight terrorism.

And she told the Edinburgh conference that Scotland’s sole Tory MP David Mundell “could do with some reinforcements” in the 2015 election.

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