Friday, 5 September 2014

If Scotland votes for independence will all Scots living in the rump UK become immigrants?

A yes vote in the referendum could result in a series of unintended consequences in the remaining UK.

First, who is a Scottish citizen? The SNP’s Draft Interim Constitution awards Scottish citizenship automatically to everyone living in Scotland at the time of secession and to everyone born of Scottish parents even if they don’t live in the country, whilst automatically allowing dual citizenship. As an estimated 830,000 Scots live in the rump UK, this could lead to a large number of British citizens with dual allegiance. There are many reasons why dual citizenship for a substantial number of citizens with divided loyalties could be a problem.

Where does that leave MPs of Scots extraction who have seats in England, Wales and Northern Ireland? Does this invalidate them as MPs as they are no longer citizens of this country? Currently only UK, Irish or Commonwealth citizens can stand for election to the UK Parliament. Scotland is, understandably, not included in the list of eligible Common wealth countries.

Just imagine what an additional 800,000 immigrants will do to David Cameron’s aspiration to reduce immigration into this country. The figures for immigrants living in the UK will increase dramatically overnight. Will Cameron introduce visas for Scots in order to reduce the figures?

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