Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Common travel binned already: try visiting Ireland.

Britain has been breaking the British Isles common travel area with Ireland, affecting both parts of it, without admitting so in any prominent political outlet.

Since 2010, shows this paper from when they started it,, they have done immigration checks on the crossings from Northern Ireland to the mainland. It is shocking to see it, as I did on the Belfast to Cairnryan crossing, with "immigration enforcement" on their uniforms, checking identity and asking exactly immigration type questions about where you were travelling to - on a domestic travel route that is wholly inside the UK. It is not caused by NI's history, any extra security because of that would be security rather than open explicit immigration checking. Dangerously it does not make NI feel treated like part of the union, does it? The idea behind it is supposed to be, that the Republic is more liberal on immigration, and the Irish peace requires there to be easy crossing into NI by road an appearance of open border between the 2 parts of Ireland, so Britain will let the Republic's policy govern who can reach NI but it will still put a trap in an unexpected place to catch folks trying to reach the British mainland. This is why it is only being done in one direction, coming from Ireland, not going to it.

A friend who has visited family in the Republic reported that he was asked for his passport when crossing into NI on public transport! This is exactly what is not supposed to happen under the common travel area, and all our media debate on the EU and during the referendum took as common knowledge that it does not happen, that we have a happy little passport-free travel area with the Irish Republic. Googling, you can find stories since 2011 of this happening. It's not being publicised in media and politics, it's only folks who travle to Ireland and experience it who are getting to know this is happening.

As a No voter who is migration liberal and has no love at all for Britain's present border culture, I'm writing against Britain's practices here and accusing that they weaken the union. But this revelation is more of a problem for nats than unionists, because during the referendum the Yessers relied heavily on claiming they could predict that rUK would keep the common travel area with us because it would be rational. They insisted cavalierly that we could dismiss as bluff all contrary talk. Some Yessers actually relied on this, to argue that my anger at Yes's citizenship plan betraying the Scottish diaspora was unnecessary, because the common travel area resolved it. Predicting common travel's certainty to remain in place would mean, all the Scots born in the rest of Britain to emigrant parents and still living there at the date of indy, who Yes intended to betray without unrefusable citizenship of their own country, would still always be free to move home as part of common travel. So it would not matter how deficient and full of loopholes Yes's rules for Scottish citizenship were. This is clearly disproved by what is happening to Ireland. If intrusive migration checks are now capable of being intruded sinisterly upon civil liberties even inside the UK, between its nations, and if we are illicitly and dishonestly breaking the travel area with the Irish Republic too, both of these shocks show how easy and casual it would have been for rUK to put them onto a new Scottish state's border.

It's obviously another reason not to vote Conservative if you care for the union.

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