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

Wright, Robert (2013) A post-independence Scottish immigration system : how might it be shaped by European Union requirements. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 37 (2). pp. 47-53. ISSN 2046-5378

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    Abstract

    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.