Monday, 28 October 2013

leaving the gatekeeper.

An "Edinburgh Research Council", first time I've heard of them, and a professor Jo Shaw, have produced some research on the issues around citizenship for a new Scottish state. They want to make a ripple by suggesting it would effectively be the UK instead of Scotland that got to decide who would be a Scottish citizen.

So isn't that an obvious danger from the policy of remaining in the British Isles Common Travel Area? A position the Yes side has too recklessly bound to because Alex fears the unpopularity of having a border control?

But the wider position with the rest of the world makes this counterintuitive. It's right not to want a border control, a barrier between people, a part of the nastiness of global apartheid. Certainly we should say we won't put a border control on by our choice. But how do we minimise border controls and maximise our access links with our diaspora, unless our actions are independentof being dictated by the UK? and by the chilling mounting racism of 2 of its leading parties, and real threat of it leaving the EU? In order not to have border controls dictated to us by them, and barriers put on our diaspora - and by it, exactly as the prof says, treated as not independent! - we need to be willing to pursue a separate line from the UK's even when we know it will result in them slapping a border control onto us.

If we can't get a common travel area with anyone because our own needs, with our own diaspora to retrieve from the oppression of exile, are more open door and liberal than any other country will agree to, then that is what we should do. Better to be an ingathered and enriched pro-migrant people than to be casually able to pop next door. But if we can get compatibility with this openness from the European travel area Schengen, then we will obviously be better off in Schengen than in the British Isles Common Travel Area. Even if England and Ireland slapped border controls onto us, that's 2 countries doing that, in exchange for the gain of having no barriers with 26 countries.

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