PLANS to establish an expert group to examine how the Border with the rest of the UK will work for an independent Scotland will be put forward at the SNP conference.

A motion on the provisional agenda for the gathering, which is taking place in September, calls for the establishment of a “Borders Commission”.

It states the South of Scotland has “long been neglected and under-served” by the UK Government both economically and socially.

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But it says a “well-formulated and enacted” plan for the area could see it become a hub for wealth creation for the region and an independent Scotland as a whole.

The motion, being put forward by the Meadows Morningside and Hawick and District branches, states: “To aid this Conference supports a Regional Development Plan for the International Border Gateways between an Independent Scotland and England with the intention of maximising economic, social and demographic benefits to the Borders and an Independent Scotland.

“To this end Conference proposes that the SNP adopt as policy, the establishment of an expert Borders Commission to advise on how borders with the rest of the UK and the EU, EEA, or EFTA (or any other trade organisation we may wish to join), might most favourably benefit Scotland as it transitions to independence, in preparation for a renewed White Paper.”

One of the biggest issues in another referendum campaign will be how the Border between Scotland and the rest of the UK will operate, with Brexit changing the scenario which existed in 2014.

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In April, when asked about the consequences of a Border with England if Scotland rejoined the EU after independence, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I want us to be part of the world’s biggest single market. It’s seven times the size of the UK market.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

“But of course I want to and will work with others to make sure we keep trade flowing easily across the Border between Scotland and England.”

Last month a claim by Tory minister Kevin Foster that a “great wall of Gretna” would be built after Scottish independence was criticised as a “mischievous exaggeration” by a leading expert on borders.

Katy Hayward, a professor of sociology at Queen’s University Belfast, also pointed out that such images were never used by UK ministers when talking about the relationship with the EU post-Brexit.

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The draft agenda for the SNP National Conference, which takes place from September 10-13, is focused on themes of independence, local government and climate change.

Conferences Committee convener Stewart Stevenson said with limited time it had only been possible to take forward a small proportion of the 130 motions submitted and the number is expected to reduce further on the final agenda.

Another motion put forward by the Castle Douglas and Glenkens branch calls for a strategic framework for Scots citizenship after independence to be developed immediately, ready to be introduced from “day one of independence”.

It says as well as those born in Scotland automatically qualifying, “New Scots” will be able to apply based on criteria such as length as residency, as well as spousal citizenship and citizenship by descent.

But it rules out the need for people wishing to apply for citizenship to pass a test similar to the current “Life in the UK” test and says it will not be based on financial criteria such as income levels or employment status.

The motion states: “Conference rejects and condemns the hostile environment of the UK Home Office and xenophobic attitudes of the Tory Westminster government.

“Their policies have caused hardship and worry for many New Scots. Immigration is not currently devolved, and despite Scotland welcoming New Scots, many have had to make the difficult decisions to leave their homes in Scotland.

“This is a loss to all of Scotland and felt deeply across our Nation.”

It goes on: “Conference further acknowledges that the current UK paths to UK Citizenship are based on unjust requirements, such as obtaining Settled Status, Indefinite Leave to Remain or a Permanent Residency Card.

“These requirements include passing the so-called ‘Life in the UK Test’, which does not reflect a fair approach, with many of the required answers being disputed and often not known by UK Citizens themselves.”