This may seem to be an odd topic to include on this blog, after all, once Scotland goes independent people will be Scottish.
In reality, there are a significant number of issues that will need to be addressed:
- Who will qualify for Scottish Nationality
- What rights will those who do not wish to take up “Scottish Nationality ” have
- Will Scotland allow dual / multiple nationality
- What happens if rUK does not allow dual nationality with Scotland
- Passport requirements
- Cross border working
- Cross Border Taxation
Who will qualify for Scottish Nationality
Assuming that the vote for Scottish independence is yes, what will be the criteria for those being eligible for Scottish nationality. Whilst the criteria for those being eligible in the referendum is defined, what will be the criteria for eligibility for Scottish Nationality. Will those people who claim Scottish ancestry be allowed to apply for a Scottish passport despite never having lived in Scotland.
The documentation put out by the Scottish government states that Scotland as a member of the EU – this is a fact that under dispute.
What rights will those who do not wish to take up “Scottish Nationality ” have?
The rights of non-Scottish nationals will have post Independence have not been spelt out. Especially if Scotland is not able to be a member of the EU, for whatever reason.
- Land ownership
- Health care
- Driving Licence
- Having and Opening Bank accounts
Will Scotland allow dual / multiple nationality
For anyone who lives in Scotland will probably want to have both as it gives them the ultimate get out clause if Scotland is not as successful as an independent country, or fails to deliver on its multifarious promises, such as EU membership or passport free travel with the rest of UK and Ireland.
What happens if rUK does not allow dual nationality with Scotland
There is a presumption that once Scotland gains its independence the rest of the UK is going to be willing to allow Scottish Nationals the option of being dual nationals.
From a practical basis, there is a logic to allowing dual nationality as it means that we will not have to issue any work visas for Scottish nationals working in the rest of the UK. However, the reality is such that for a “break period” British nationals should be forced to choose which nationality they will be selecting. This will allow for a complete break relating to a variety of topics and remove any confusion as to how things are going to operate going forward. These include:
- Employment Rights
- Health services
- Banking Services
- National Debt
- Credit Rating / Fiscal probity
- Sorting out all of the shared services / government departments
Working on the assumptions that Scotland will not be a member of the European Union on its “independence day”, the rest of the UK will be obliged to impose border controls on people travelling to/from Scotland. This will not just be a RUK requirement but also will be a requirement of the European Union to help manage border controls and immigration.
Thus Scotland will have to be in a position to issue a significant number of passports in relatively short order. Regardless of the assurances of the Scottish government, Scotland will have to issue the passports as travel to and from the rest of the EU will necessitate having a passport. This would be compounded by the need to establish international representation with a significant number of countries and for the use of the Scottish passport would be accepted, otherwise Scotland would have to negotiate with another country possibly rUK to provide international representation until such time as Scotland can establish some form of diplomatic representation. How will Scotland pay for this service?
Whilst the prospect of Scotland gaining its independence is likely, little thought has been given the probable effect on nationals working either in Scotland or anywhere else in the world.
Why you say?
Well technically Scottish nationals who do not hold a “United Kingdom” passport would need to obtain the right to continue working in their current location, also all non-scottish nationals will need to establish some form of right to work in Scotland. Assuming that the Scottish government has given any sort of thought to their immigration policy…….
Cross border working
I don’t know if there are individuals who presumably work on one side of the border, but live on the other side of the border. What is going to happen to their taxation situation. A further complication will be those individuals who spend a lot of time travelling between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Currently this has no impact on their taxation arrangements, but once Scotland goes independent this situation will change and consequently will impact on people’s willingness and ability to continue their current working arrangements.