Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Borderline considerations

“No we won’t need passports and there won’t be border controls”

“Will people face border checks?” “What a daft idea!”

How come? If Scotland has a more permissive immigration policy* than residual UK, will migrants continue to squat at Calais awaiting a chance to cross illegally into England, or will they hop on a ferry to Scotland and then just drift across the “open” England – Scotland border?

Will we just accept that such a border cannot be secured and in effect give up? If we do, Scotland and the rest of the UK will have to have a common migration policy *. May not sound like “independence”.

(This parallels another issue where one side says that a problem can be overcome by having a common policy – currency. If we have a common currency there will have to be common policies to manage it. Again, does not sound like “independence”.)

A local TV debate Scotland and Us – A Look North Special (BBC1 North East and Cumbria 3 September 2014) stressed also the problems facing the North East and Cumbria if Scotland was to cut Corporation Tax or Air Passenger Duty – a taxation border will cause issues. There are already border issues over prescription charges and university tuition fees.

The Nationalists will all say “well that’s not our problem – you (England) sort out your own problems”. To an extent they are right – most of the border issues are primarily felt South of the border. For instance in respect of the migration issue, the Scottish tail can wag the English dog – unless England secures the border – somehow. If “little England” chooses to leave the EU the issue will become even more pressing.

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