Check point claim borders on puerile

CHRIS Bryant's claim that an independent Scotland would have to establish border controls with England is puerile nonsense (News, 4 April).

His whole argument is based on the false premise that an independent Scotland would have to accede to the European Union, and therefore as a new entrant be forced to join the Schengen area and the euro. However, on independence, as supported by a plethora of European and legal experts, Scotland would still remain a member of the European Union, as would the rest of the UK. And, indeed, as it was the UK which joined what was then the EEC in 1973, if Scotland were not allowed to remain a member, neither would England as the UK would have ceased to exist.

As independent members of the European Union, both Scotland and the rest of the UK would enjoy full access to each other's markets, with open borders and freedom to travel and work throughout the EU. In Ireland people move unimpeded between north and south, and this would be the same for Scotland and England post-independence.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

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WHILE it is no surprise that Glasgow Labour MP Iain Davidson resurrected the old hat "border" debate – in the event of Scottish independence – it is a surprise that Chris Bryant, Europe Minister and one of the younger, brighter minds in Labour picked up the grubby ball.

Schengen is not new and its provisions are in the public domain. While Britain and Ireland are not signatories to Schengen, the Ireland/Northern Ireland border remains open. According to the politically astute Mr Davidson this, of course, would not be the case between Scotland and England! In the event of Scottish independence it is possible, due to Europe's rigid bureaucracy, that Scotland, and the remainder of Britain, would have to reapply to join the EU as both would be considered new entities. Mr Davidson should know, better than most, that as Scotland has few friends in Labour, Westminster has fewer in Brussels.

The implication in this is to stop immigrants reaching England via Scotland. Whether signatories to Schengen or not, hasn't Westminster done well so far in this regard.

Bill McLean, Dunfermline