Scottish independence: Independent Scotland's passports 'would follow EU layout and be burgundy'
It came as First Minister Humza Yousaf published the latest in a series of papers setting out the updated case for independence.
The document, which focuses on citizenship, says holding a Scottish passport would be a right available to Scottish citizens from the first day of independence.
“Any currently valid UK passports would continue to be recognised in Scotland until their expiry date,” it says. “It would not be a requirement of Scottish citizenship that you hold a Scottish passport.”
The paper adds: "The EU sets a number of standards for passports, visas and national identity cards. These combine common technical requirements for document security with optional recommendations on design and size. Under our proposals, planning for new Scottish passports would follow EU standards and technical requirements.
"Scottish passports would also follow the EU recommended layout, size and colour: they would be available in lengths of five years for children and ten years for adults and would be burgundy red.
"An independent Scotland would establish a passport and citizenship services office to issue passports and receive and determine applications to naturalise or register as a Scottish citizen.”
British passports were changed from burgundy to blue following Brexit.
The new paper proposes that Scotland follows the Irish citizenship model, with those born outwith the country after independence automatically entitled to Scottish citizenship if at least one of their parents is a Scottish citizen.
Mr Yousaf said: “In this country, we are used to feeling a mix of identities. As a proud Scottish Pakistani, that’s something I understand and respect, and the policies in this paper would not require anybody to choose between being Scottish, British, or any other nationality.
“Instead, this paper proposes an open and inclusive approach to citizenship. One that welcomes people who want to settle in Scotland, rather than putting barriers and excessive fees in the way of individuals and their families.
“With our aging population, Scotland faces an urgent demographic challenge. That’s why we want to welcome more people, to join those who have already settled in communities across our country and are contributing to a better economy, higher living standards, and stronger public services like our NHS.
“Scottish citizens could also enjoy benefits such as the right to hold a Scottish passport, continued freedom of movement within the Common Travel Area, and eventually, following our commitment to re-join the EU as an independent nation, resumed rights as EU citizens.
“I hope this paper will help to answer questions people might have about citizenship in an independent Scotland, and I look forward to hearing people’s views on our proposals.”
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