Clarity on the real issue of citizenship

I think Dr Roger I Cartwright (Letters, 10 March) is letting emotion blind him to the realities.

With regard to citizenship, the white paper adopts an inclusive approach to Scottish citizenship that is properly in keeping with the international obligation to ensure that no-one is left stateless.

The 500,000 people living in Scotland but born in the UK outside Scotland, of which I am one, and the 800,000 people born in Scotland but presently living elsewhere in the UK will not, indeed cannot, be arbitrarily stripped of their British citizenship by the Scottish Government as Dr Cartwright claims.

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The government of the remainder of the UK could, but precedent suggests is unlikely to, take British citizenship away from these people, in which case the right to Scottish citizenship ensures that these people are not left stateless.

Dr Cartwright suggests his family are being forced to take a foreign nationality but this is simply not true. He is being offered Scottish citizenship but will very probably, if a London government so decides, be able to continue holding British citizenship.

Dr Cartwright suggests that he will have to move south of the Border before Independence Day to remain British. This is very probably not true. What is probably true though, depending on Dr Cartwright’s exact circumstances, is that moving south of the Border before Independence Day removes Scottish citizenship as a possibility for him.

If he is habitually resident in Scotland on Independence Day then there is no mechanism for him to repudiate the offer of Scottish citizenship. But instead of being angry about this Dr Cartwright should be happy that the offer is there in case the British government decides, in stark contrast to previous experience, to remove his British citizenship.

The white paper on independence at page 272 makes it quite clear that a Scottish Government will allow dual citizenship but cannot dictate the terms of British citizenship.

Andrew Parrott

Stuart Avenue


I read with some interest Dr Roger I Cartwright’s letter for I am also from foreign stock.

My father was born just south of Lvov (Lviv) and my mother in Warszaw but I draw a totally different conclusion.

Scotland is a country I have grown to love and trust but not so for things British.

Britain has never been good to me or my family, and the fact that we have prospered is very much due to our own self-reliance. We feel we owe nothing to Britain.

Looking to Westminster for any consistent commitment if you live outside the M25 is delusional at best and in reality much worse.

My parents were refugees; I grew up being treated like one by the British state. I found a welcome in being Scots and I cherish it.

Self-reliance is still my way of life and I have no fear of being a refugee. I have no fear of a future in a country with a chance to free itself from the duplicity and shame that is the British state.

I want the chance of a better world for my children, free from corrupt Westminster.

An independent Scotland would be a blank sheet, one on which our children can make their mark.

Dr Cartwright’s anger is misplaced: he should direct it at the British state for it has let him down.

Marek Mozolowski