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Passports could be required to get into Scotland

Independence for Scotland could be followed by the introduction of new ‘border controls’ at Gretna, with visitors being asked to show their passports, says Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

England Scotland border photo
Scottish independence could lead to different immigration policies

The MP spoke out after Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael claimed an independent Scottish Government would be unable to maintain an open border.

The minister claims this would be the result of the Scottish National Party’s immigration policies being “widely divergent” to those applied south of the border.

This was evident, said Mr Carmichael, from the Scottish Government’s White Paper which anticipates the use of visas for graduates who want to stay on in Scotland after they have completed their courses.

Commenting yesterday, Mr Stevenson – who grew up in Aberdeen and went to university in Dundee – said the issue highlighted the “ridiculous” situation created by the SNP’s drive for independence, which will be decided by a referendum on September 18.

He said: “This is a small island. We’ve had a successful union for 300 years which has benefited people both sides of the border and made us a prosperous country.

“If we do have a split then the danger is, particularly in this part of the world, that we will get all sorts of anomalies: different tax rates; different employment laws; different daylight hours; and, most ridiculous of all, we could end up with different immigration policies, which in theory could lead to border control between Gretna and Carlisle.

“We could have people who go to Gretna to shop having to show their passport and change their currency.

“It could happen.

“If Scotland decides to have a very different immigration policy then quite clearly we would have to do something about it. It would have a hugely adverse effect on both sides of the border.”

Mr Stevenson, who still has family living in Fife, said he believed strongly that most people shared his view that the union was good for people both sides of the border.

Conservatives have argued repeatedly that checkpoints are likely along the shared border between Scotland and England if there are different immigration policies.

UK Immigration Minister Mark Harper, a Tory MP, said: “There would be a new international border and, however close our co-operation, that could mean more bureaucracy and extra controls for people travelling to visit family, go on holiday or do business.”

The Scottish Government argues that Westminster policy is heavily influenced by south east England, and is aimed at reducing migration.

The SNP dismissed Mr Carmichael’s claims as “scaremongering”.

The SNP’s MSP Mark McDonald said: “It is perfectly possible to have your own immigration policy and be part of the Common Travel Area.”

Have your say

The problem is with the Schengen zone... If Scotland does become independent, and wants to join Europe (although I can't think of a single reason why), then it will have to become part of the Schengen Zone, as the UK is not, then there will have to be border controls in place, it's not a discussion point, or up for debate, it is what will have to be.... unless the UK joins the zone too.

Personally, from what I can see, devolution is bad for Scotland and the rest of the UK. Salmond and his bunch of misfits have one thing in their focus, power. They really haven't though devolution through. They want Europe, but think they can dictate terms... They want NATO but not Nuclear.... They want asset distribution based on geography, but debt based on per capita.. And he isn't even a decent negotiator !

Only a fool would back this man and his crazy path of destruction for the good people of Scotland.

Posted by PaulM on 30 January 2014 at 13:47

Ah cannae beleife whit ye write oan haur, ye boorichie ay racist fowk. We gae ye th' peh an' th' haggis an' whit dae ye gie us naethin' that's whit.

Ye tak' uir Mary an' uir Charlie but we loove yer Queen, she has a hoose up haur ye ken. Sae dornt be racist an' be uir friends an' weel aw shake hans oan New Years Eve.


Posted by Yer all Racist fowk. on 29 January 2014 at 05:46

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