Theresa May the Home Secretary has made the latest in a series of allegations about the prospects for an independent Scotland. In an interview with the BBC, Ms. May stated that there may be border controls on the border with England, dependent on whether Scotland opts out of the Schengen agreement or not.
This comes after comments she made during the Scottish Conservative Party conference in Troon over the weekend. During the conference, the Home Secretary stated that she believed that Scotland was stronger in the union, and suggested that immigration would become less controlled in an independent Scotland. Ms May also questioned the issue of sovereignty within the EU, stating “It completely defeats the SNP argument that Scotland would fare better with more control over its affairs when they seek to hand over so many serious areas of government elsewhere.”
In her interview with the BBC, Theresa May states it may be possible that Scotland post-independence will have passport controls on the border with England. The Schengen agreement, which guarantees no border controls in the EU, was opted-out of by the UK, but new EU states, such as Scotland would be, are automatically opted in and have to negotiate if they don’t want to be in it.
Currently the UK operates a Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland, and Ms. May stated that an agreement of this kind may be negotiated between Scotland and the rest of Britain after independence.
A statement released by the SNP today stated that since both the rump UK and Scotland would be successor states from the UK, they ” will therefore inherit exactly the same status within the EU, including not being in the Schengen area.”
“An independent Scotland will also inherit the Common Travel Area which exists across UK and Ireland, and provides for no border controls for the citizens of these islands.”
The statement added that a soveriegn country can tailor immigration to meet their needs and that immigration may help “address skills shortages in Scotland’s labour market”. The SNP claims that the the Home Secretary’s statements were “silly” and “scaremongering.”