A post-independence Scottish immigration system: how might it be shaped by European Union requirements

Robert Wright

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This paper examines how the SNP Government's "double desire" of independence and European Union membership would impact on its ability to design and deliver an effective immigration policy. Most EU legislation is concerned with refugees and asylum seekers and says little about how
economic immigrants and family reunification immigrants are selected. As such, the main conclusion is that EU legislation will not impact unduly on an immigration system designed by a post-Independence Scotland. However, the expectation is that Scotland would be obliged to join the Schengen Area - and
leave the current Common Travel Area. This view is contrary to that of the Scottish Government whose current stated preference is that an independent Scotland should remain in the Common Travel Area, with the Rest of UK (RUK) and the Republic of Ireland. The positive benefits of Scotland joining the Schengen Area have not been, as yet, fully explored by either the Scottish or UK Government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalFraser of Allander Economic Commentary
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2013


  • Scottish immigration
  • Schengen Area
  • Scottish independence
  • Common Travel Area
  • European Union

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