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How Scots can have best of both worlds

Published 20/07/2016

It is possible for Scotland to retain links to the EU and be part of the UK; here is how.

We can form a British Isles Single Market (BISM), made up of the UK, Scotland and, if it wished, Ireland.

We can continue a common travel area that extends to the Republic, as it does at present. We establish a joint border force for our external borders, as is the case at present with the Republic.

Our nations will all use the pound, contribute to the BISM's budget, adhere to budgetary requirements, under the control of BISM Central Bank.

Scotland would gain full fiscal independence. EU/EEA migrants could be accepted in Scotland, after having passed through the common border, but only get national insurance numbers in Scotland, or Ireland.

And, in return, Scotland could access the EU's single market, too, applying EU standards to Scotland's trade with the EU.

There would be a type of shared citizenship similar to post-Maastricht EU citizenship for the British Isles, alongside Scottish, Irish and UK passports. A common parliament could be established.

It might sound far-fetched, but consider the alternatives with two hard borders, the Good Friday Agreement in danger, full and acrimonious independence and loss of much of Ireland's market for the UK.

ANDREW REID WILDMAN

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