Questions Remain After Scottish Independence Referendum

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The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford says Scotland will face problems if it remains part of the United Kingdom along with potential practical difficulties with independence if their policies were to be different from England.

The UK is trying to curb immigration, however Scotland has recently experienced population growth from inward migration.

The Bordering on Confusion report said “numbers born in the UK actually declined, suggesting population growth was only achieved as a result of positive net migration,”

“Scotland has a smaller, considerably less dense and slower-growing population than England.

“While some would argue that this means Scotland needs a different approach to managing immigration to densely-populated, fast-growing England, this ‘need’ is highly subjective and would undoubtedly be debated in an independent Scotland.”

Based on the report, it would depend on whether Scotland can join the European Union or not.

It has been argued by Scottish nationalists that changes are not required and border controls would also not be required between England and Scotland.

Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, questions this, and suggests that passport checks may be necessary to prevent the rest of the UK from becoming a de-facto member of the EU’s Schengen Free-movement area and from preventing migrants from using Scotland to bypass UK immigration controls.

Alternative policies, such as those in Canada, offer provincial and territorial specific visas called Provincial Nominee Program (PNPs) encouraging growth where it is best needed. Dr. Binder, acting director of the Migration Observatory, said Canada’s model provides an example of moving away from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ immigration policy.

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