Passport problem

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There would appear to be confusion over the question of nationality and the status of current passports should Scotland gain independence (Letters, 13 June). However, the situation is quite clear.

The British Nationality Act 1981 currently defines British nationality.

The main category of British citizenship embraces those born in the UK to a British citizen or to a parent settled in the UK.

Clearly, all existing British citizens, Scots or otherwise, would retain a claim to such citizenship following independence.

The situation would, of course, change for future generations. The Westminster parliament would, firstly, need to determine a new legal definition for the “Rest of the UK” and, secondly, introduce a new British Nationality Act which would incorporate this definition.

It would be for the Scottish Government to decide whether Scotland wished to opt into this new act with the “new UK”.

Current British passports state that holders are British citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. These passports would therefore become invalid given that the current United Kingdom would no longer exist.

The Scottish Government will undoubtedly have anticipated that it would have to meet the costs of replacing all existing British passports.

Adrian FitzGerald

Howgate

Midlothian

Many of your pro-Union correspondents seem to think that a change of passport from a UK to a Scottish one would be a total disaster. I wonder why.

No doubt just another panic at the thought that Scots would be capable of looking after their own affairs.

Don’t they ever ask themselves how all the citizens of countries without a UK passport manage to get by?

If they cared to look at their passports they would see that above all the titles on the front are the words “European Union” and, at the moment, everybody in the EU has the same sort of passport, with the same rights and freedom of movement.

However, if a large and narrow-minded group of Conservative MPs get their way, the UK will leave the EU and the value of the UK passport will be sadly diminished as far as travel and free health care are concerned, and in that case, why would they prefer such a sadly diminished document?

Anyway, there is no reason why anyone who so wished could not keep their existing passport in an independent Scotland, and, more than likely, they could also enjoy dual citizenship, as most normal countries permit.

Personally I will be proud to produce the passport of Scotland, and I am sure that I will be welcomed across the world.

James Duncan

Rattray Grove

Edinburgh

If Scotland votes for independence, will the contract printing passports move from HM Stationery Office?

That would be a nice little earner for a Scottish printer.

JAMES GRAEME

Warriston Crescent

Edinburgh