Theresa May, The UK Home Secretary, has said that a ‘Yes’ vote in the Scottish referendum would see the UK government putting up passport and immigration controls at the border. Really? Rather than accept a common travel area, as exists with Ireland, the UK government would instigate full international border arrangements – arrangements which exist nowhere else in Europe – on the UK mainland?

Let’s just consider what that would require. First, it would mean new border posts on all roads and rail routes. The new Scottish government, which would want open borders with England, would not interrupt people’s travel into Scotland – they’d say the notion was ridiculous and based upon mindless pique (or it would say Scots were  being “bullied”). People would travel to Scotland unmolested – the Scottish government might even pay friendly-looking folk to cheerily wave travellers through at the border. Then, on the return journey, English cops and border staff would stop everyone’s car, every tourist bus. They’d board trains and ask for people’s papers, like in war-movie olden Europe. Queues would add hours hours to the Scotland-England journey.

Second, the Army and Navy, or a new border patrol force, would have to patrol the length of the land border and out to sea. There would need to be a wire, or equivalent surveillance measures, too because the ‘illegal immigrants’ England would be worried about would hardly be crossing at the main crossing points, would they?

And why would England choose to make itself look like a banana republic, pointlessly spend billions of pounds and make itself a laughing stock across the world? Not for reasons of security, because all the security arrangements at present on the UK mainland would still be in place with a common UK travel area. Simply, apparently, to make some  kind of weird psychological attack on their immediate neighbours.

And would English taxpayers and travellers stand for that? Would the businesses behind the Tory party accept the logistical nightmare their government wished to inflict upon them? Would the security bods, who know what happens when bordering nation states don’t co-operate, accept such a dangerous situation? No, of course they wouldn’t.

Theresa May, and anyone who agrees with her on this point, seems to be saying that the English response to an ordered and legal separation would be mindlessness, pique, anger, irrationality, and that English taxpayers would be prepared to foot the enormous and unnecessary bill just to ram all of those destructive emotional imperatives home.

And that would just be the start – imagine a UK foreign secretary or prime minister arriving in some overseas hotspot where a border is involved – ‘nah, just whack up walls, wires, border police, bugger everyone about to the max, and put rumble strips under the wheels of commerce – that’s what we do’. I really rather doubt it. In fact, the idea is so stupid, I’m wondering if Theresa May – who holds a job much less powerful than the media often suggests – has been suckered by her putative ‘leadership’ rivals.

I’m a unionist in broad terms, but I’m finding the dishonesty and negativity of the ‘No’ campaign – the way it treats Scots like dummies – increasingly offensive. Ironically, in view of Theresa May’s own comments on the subject in the past, the No campaign is becoming the Nasty campaign.



20 Responses to Scotland: ‘No’ campaign is morphing into the ‘Nasty’ campaign
  1. So if Scotland gets independence, does that mean that England ceases to be part of Europe as well. Face it it is the uk as a whole that is in Europe. If Scotland becomes independent that would mean England having to apply for eu membership as well because UK plc will cease to exist. Come on folks let’s get real

  2. How can such a “foreign country” be trusted to base the rUK’s nuclear weapons?

  3. It is the Political equivalent of the childish rant ” It’s my ball and your’e not playing !” Totally senseless and unjustifiable , but what else can you expect from the Better Together camp , their antics just become more desparate and nonsensical all the time

  4. Well said Eric. Time after time the UK government slaps down everything which would constitute reasonable and friendly co-operation between neighbour states. Will they play the game afterwards or will they do their utmost to ensure we fail?
    My view is a mix, of appearing to play fair in public, while privately working against an independent Scotland.
    I sincerely hope I am wrong.

  5. As an Englishman speaking from south of the border. I would not support Mays proposal for border controls with Scotland. I spend a lot of time north of the border and love Scotland. I would be very sad to see Scotland leave the Union. We are stronger together. Far more important to get out of the EU together.

    • How can you say we are stronger together & better out eu together? If it wasnt for eu forcing westminister to comply with eu legislation we would have 0 in common. Human rights workers rights free speech free press all would be wiped out if warmonster had its way

  6. This is exactly what Keep Calm, Facepalm has been saying on Facebook. Johann Lamont’s recent disgusting attack on Alex Salmond was out of order.

    Eric, it’s time to break cover and honestly recognise tothe public that an independent Scotland would be perfectly capable of not only survival, but prosperity

  7. Great pic! The way Theresa May has gon about this crazy and stupid idea has made her look like a clown. She must have someone higher telling her to do this. It is a constant worry that theres not enough decent arguements in politics and also not enough brave, honest and decent people to challenge or support those arguements. Some of the No camps ideas for a future independent Scotland and there opinions on how we will fail and struggle has been laughable. This is just another one to add to the growing list of pathetic scaremongering that exists far too much.

  8. Switzerland is not in the EU. It doesn’t have any border controls. Can’t see why an independent Scotland would be any different?

    And yes, it is the Mark Thomson you’re thinking about 😉

  9. Eric, it’s time to make the move to YES. You know it makes sense.
    Your intellect deserves better than to serve the shambolic Labour Party whether N or S of the border (with a little ‘b’)

  10. Ireland is a full member of the EU, which Scotland probably wouldn’t be, straight away, therefore Scotland would be outside the EU and have a normal International border, along with the external to the EU import duties etc.

    This border would probably be a prudent measure (for both sides of the border) to catch these duties rather than to keep out “illegal immigrants” as you suggest with your scare tactic.

    Your first paragraph, where you mention a full international border on the UK mainland – There wouldn’t be a UK mainland. It would have broken up. Remember?

    • The mainland is a physical thing, Chris. It’ll still be there…. Moreover, I don’t buy the idea that Scotland would be required to leave the EU. See my previous posts on that. We’re all EU citizens and would remain so.

      • Actually an independent scotland wont be a member unless all members agree to it after a indy scotland applying if a yes vote happens then automatically come 2016 scotland will not be in the eu as scotland doesnt currently hold membership to the eu its britain thats the member so a yes vote means no eu wether people like it or no an the eu have said scotland would need to apply if a yes vote happens

        • Why would any of the other member states of the EYU want to deny Scotland continuing membership? What would it benefit them to exclude a country who even if they retained the same budgetary arrangements as the UK currently has would still be a net contributor? Of course they could decide to do it, but there is no EU treaty or legislation which covers the situation, especially considering the added complication of the unique way he UK is constituted. But the question is not could they exclude us but why would they?

          Is it not far more realistic to expect that if Scotland goes to the EU following a vote for Independence and says “We would like to remain part of the EU can we make that happen ?” then the EU is going to sit down in good faith and try and hammer out any difficulties?

          If there are two traits that can be laid at the door of the EU it is that they are both expansionist and pragmatic. There is no way they will not come to an accommodation rather than throw us out only to have us reapply immediately in order to satisfy some rules which don’t actually exist.

          Imagine they throw Scotland, the part of the UK which wants to stay in, out upon Independence in 2016 and says the rUK can stay. Then while Scotland is going through the process of satisfying the EU that our separate legal system which has complied fully with EU law for 40 years still complies, the rUK votes in 2017 to leave. Under the treaties the UK has signed they cannot just walk away, they have to negotiate to leave. (unlike Scotland supposedly) So, the EU would be in the absurd position of negotiating simultaneously to re-admit Scotland who they threw out and negotiating with the rUK, who they allowed to stay in, to leave. That would be a nonsensical position for the EU to create for itself by making Scotland re-apply from the outside and which can easily be avoided by negotiation.

          I ask again, why would the EU, or any of its member states, oppose Scotland’s membership of the EU just for the purpose of making us re-apply?

        • I couldn’t agree more. All Scots would remain EU citizens – the idea that the EU would seek to deny them their human rights and all the rest, just to spite us, seems literally ridiculous.

  11. Eric you are obviously better at thinking than you are at drinking.

  12. Looking at articles and comments on what once was a rational newspaper, the Guardian, there are people who think like May.
    Also, on irrational thinking, it would be useful to get an insight on what is happening inside Labour in Scotland, because Gordon Brown’s devolution ‘ideas’ would create a catastrophy for Scotland.
    Even the 2012 Scotland Act has all the hallmarks of a poison chalice.

  13. May jostles with Hunt and Gove in the Tory succession. Her remarks no doubt threaten revenge if Scots reject the rest of us. Saloon bars will approve, she will be thought sound. People will speak of a ring of steel I dare say.


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