Would there be a border between England and Scotland?

There already is a border between England and Scotland which is why we have different health, education and legal policies with devolution.

And in terms of border controls all states in the world have power to control their borders with variations in how they operate.

In terms of people, independence would not stop people moving freely across the border between England and Scotland just as people from the Republic of Ireland can move freely across the border into the UK.

Under a century-old arrangement called the Common Travel Area (CTA) Scotland would, like Ireland, retain freedom of movement within these islands, covering the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

Being in the CTA means that there would be no new passport or immigration checks at any of an independent Scotland’s land, sea or air border points with the UK and Ireland for those travelling within it. 

It would also mean that rights to live, work, and access services including housing, education and healthcare would continue for British and Irish citizens in Scotland, and for the citizens of an independent Scotland in the UK and Ireland.

But there would be an additional benefit of independence – Scottish citizens would be able to take full advantage of their rights as EU citizens just as citizens of Ireland do.

In terms of trade, Scotland exports more goods outside the UK than the rest of the UK. In 2019 Scotland’s manufactured exports to the rest of the world were worth around £3,500 per person in Scotland. Therefore it is important we have unfettered access to larger markets like the EU which is the largest single market in the world.

Obviously arrangements from cross-border trade would have to be put in place between Scotland and England. Advances in technology, modernised border processes are driving trade facilitation are making this easier on land borders across the world. Norway and Sweden operate an efficient EU external border by investing in technology and by cooperating to share responsibility for customs checks. 

An independent Scotland could therefore draw from best practice around the world, seeking to agree and develop the form of border that works best for our circumstances and needs and those of our partners in the EU and in the rest of the UK.