UK needs security of Schengen area

The Schengen area includes the EU, minus Romania, Hungary, the UK and (consequently) Ireland but plus non-EU EEA (Norway and Iceland) as well as Switzerland.

Now that border controls and the UK Borders Agency are back in the news (your report, 21 February), maybe the UK should think about joining Schengen and redeploying the agency on European perimeter security.

Then St Pancras could be just another stop on a train from Inverness to Brussels, instead of the northernmost station of the French railway system.

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James McLean

Blinkbonny Terrace

Edinburgh

I see that David Lidington, described as the UK’s minister for Europe, is bringing up the old passport scare story once again.

In recent years I have flown to both Birmingham and Belfast and have had to produce photo ID on both occasions. In my case, this has meant showing my passport.

Since both these cities are integral parts of the current UK, travellers will have become very used to this procedure by the time Scotland regains its independence. What is there to fear?

Alison Halley

Newbattle Abbey Crescent

Dalkeith, Midlothian

It was deeply disappointing to note the tired old scaremongering by the UK minister for Europe, David Lidington, that an independent Scotland would have to establish border controls with England.

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, which the UK currently has an opt-out from.

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 that 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 with the UK through the Common Travel Area.

This would be the same for Scotland and England post-independence.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

It was with a sense of déjà vu that I read the knee-jerk response of the First Minister’s spokesman to the possibility of passport control, should Scotland separate from the rest of the UK, as being “scaremongering”.

Every possibility that shows a downside to breaking up the UK is treated in exactly the same manner. The SNP appears to think it will be able to control what the the EU and UK do once Scotland is alone.

The truth is the EU and the reformed UK will do exactly as they please within the law and if that includes border posts and loss of defence contracts and the withdrawal of TV programmes then that is most certainly what will happen.

The wishes of the SNP in a broken-off Scotland will not be top priority in London or Brussels, much the opposite, and this country will have no say whatsoever in any lawful actions taken elsewhere.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg

Edinburgh

Help ma Boab, a mannie frae Lunnon is threipin they Inglis is goin tae bigg Hadrian’s Wa atween oor twa countries gin we vote aye in oor referendum, whit wull we dae? is thon no awfie? I jalouse us puir bodies wull jist hae tae vote nae.

R Mill Irving

Station Road

Gifford, East Lothian