December 02, 2013
The proposals in the Scottish White Paper issued on 26 November are unsound for Scotland and unacceptable to the rest of the UK. They would provide a barn door to England. That is the conclusion of a study released today by Migration Watch UK.
The White Paper starts with the assertion that one of the major gains from independence for Scotland will be responsibility for immigration policy. It claims that Scotland has a different need for immigration which the current Westminster government have not supported. In fact, immigrants have been entirely free to go to Scotland but have chosen not to. Nevertheless, the authors clearly harbour ambitions for a very different immigration policy, one which threatens the integrity of border controls in the rest of the UK.
The proposals themselves have a number of serious weaknesses:
Commenting on the White Paper, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said “These proposals are unsound and, indeed, unnecessary for Scotland. They are also likely to be non-negotiable both with the European Union and with the government in London. This would not just be a back-door to the rest of the UK; it would be a barn door. No government in London could possibly accept that. Scotland must either have an immigration policy consistent with other members of the Common Travel Area or they must accept immigration controls at the border. This must be a red line in any future negotiations on Scottish independence. We cannot afford to sleep walk into the destruction of our border controls”.