The Herald on Sunday

Ireland has a common travel area with the UK, so why would an independen­t Scotland be denied the same?

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IAIN Macwhirter writes critically about the relative silence of the SNP regarding the arrangemen­ts for the AngloScotl­and border after independen­ce (“Sturgeon’s border problem could possibly kill Yes vote stone dead”, April 11). But surely it is not possible to say what these will be, since there will be two parties to this negotiatio­n and the SNP cannot speak for the position taken by the UK Government? All it can say is that it would wish cross-border trade and cross-border travel to be as smooth as possible. Plus, it would be foolish to reveal its hand if it had any particular ploys ahead of negotiatio­n.

There is no reason to assume that a common travel area similar to that which exists currently with Ireland would not be the outcome, and as for UK-Scottish trade, since we are both now outside the EU, why would crossborde­r trade be immediatel­y impacted by EU rules? The Scotland-UK trade relationsh­ip would be a matter for the Anglo-Scottish negotiatio­ns.

Should Scotland wish to re-enter the EU it would be at a later date after independen­ce and a matter for the Scottish people to decide. It would take a minimum of two years to arrange following independen­ce, during which time a three-way deal would need to be hammered out. Scotland would simply have to decide whether her long-term interests were best served by easier trade with the EU or easier trade with the UK.

As a recent LSE study of the division of Czechoslov­akia revealed, longer term it was in the interests of both countries to mainly trade with the EU rather than each other and their pattern of trade shifted from mainly trading with each other to mainly trading with the larger bloc.

Mairianna Clyde, Edinburgh.

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