Peter Craigie (Letters, 16 April) is quite right to say it would not be in the interests of either Scotland or the rest of the United Kingdom to have border controls – but he is missing one important point.
What happens if an independent Scotland sets different immigration criteria to the rest of the UK?
There is little point in spending millions monitoring entrants to Britain at Heathrow or Dover if those who are not qualified to enter the larger part of the UK can simply travel to Scotland and then catch a train, bus or ferry to either Belfast, Cardiff or London.
Westminster would, at the very least, require assurances from Holyrood about its immigration policies.
Continuing in the Common Travel Area is unlikely to be a decision which an independent Scotland can make unilaterally.
Your correspondent Peter Craigie (Letters, 16 April) seeks to reinforce the standard, nationalist pitch that an independent Scotland will be able to cherry pick anything it wants from the Union it has chosen to end.
“Of course,” opines Mr Craigie “it [freedom of travel between Scotland and England] will certainly remain unrestricted after independence.”
Well that, of course, depends on the remainder of the UK agreeing to a common travel area.
There may be merit in such an agreement for Scotland, but for the English, 95 per cent of the population of this island, the balance of advantage is overwhelmingly with properly controlled entry from Scotland, as from any other foreign country.
The Irish precedent has, historically, been of much greater advantage to the Irish than to the UK and has no merit for England.
Mr Craigie, however, assures your readers that the English will jump to accommodate Scottish requirements in the event of independence.
As with the other elements of the nationalist wish-list, representation on the rest of the UK’s central bank, use of said bank as a lender of last resort, common postal charges, subsidies of Scottish wind farms from English consumers, shared embassies, further warship orders, dual nationality options, continuing employment for Scots within the UK public services and the like, he has no basis for this assurance.
Vote for independence in 2014, but understand that it will mean real change, for better or for worse.
Great North Road