NEW Scots will not have to sit a Life in the UK style test as SNP members backed an “inclusive” approach to citizenship in an independent Scotland.

Emma Harper, SNP MSP for South Scotland, proposed the motion ‘Scottish Citizenship for new Scots’ during Sunday’s virtual conference on behalf of the Castle Douglas and Glenkens branch.

The lengthy resolution not only sets out an inclusive approach to granting new Scots citizenship after independence, but sets out eight points to be considered when the framework is being created. The resolution passed easily with 511 votes to 23.

The motion rejected and condemned the “hostile environment” of the UK Home Office and “xenophobic” Tory Westminster government, and recognised that getting UK citizenship if “not easily accessible”.

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The high costs of citizenship and the elaborate Life in the UK test were noted as “unjust requirements”.

The motion proposed that an independent Scotland would firstly, consider British citizens “habitually resident” in Scotland as citizens, and also those who are Scottish born but live elsewhere.

For children born to “at least one parent” in Scotland with citizenship or indefinite leave to remain would be automatically given citizenship themselves, and that dual nationality will be recognised.

Harper (pictured below) said: “Our new Scots are absolutely welcome here and have contributed to Scotland immensely.

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“Not just to keep our population younger, which is important for our long term sustainability, but they have also contributed to our culture, our economy and to the life of our communities across the country.

“They are our colleagues, our neighbours, our friends and our loved ones.

“We are honoured that they have chosen to make Scotland their home, and in the face of Tory austerity, hostility and regressive and insular policies, we should fight to welcome new Scots here, we should stand up for their rights and we must have an immigration system in an independent Scotland which has fairness, dignity and respect at its heart.”

Harper added that the Scottish system would allow children who weren’t born in the UK but have lived in Scotland for most of their formative years, who have previously been deported by the UK government, to have a “straightforward route to citizenship”.

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This was one of the recommendations contained in the motion for the points to be considered while “formulating that framework”.

Others include establishing the rules for how Scottish citizenship can be “transmitted by descent”, the criteria new Scots will have to apply to including issues such as length of residency, and what exclusion criteria will apply for those “convicted of serious criminal offences”.

The motion adds that “The general principle should be that all new Scots will be treated equally. Place of birth will not be a deciding factor and there will not be different tiers of Citizenship for people born in the EU, EEA or rest of the world.”

Stuart McDonald (pictured below), MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, supported the motion.

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He said: “It is of course absolutely fundamental to our lives and our enjoyment of a whole host of rights, in a sense, it is the right to have rights.

“As the social justice and fairness committee put it, citizenship rights can be a first step in providing security and a sense of identity.

“It is a recognition on both sides that this is your home country. So it is crucial that we get this right.”

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Clare Adamson, MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw, also supported the resolution.

She said: “This motion is a visionary example of the values possible in an independent Scotland and in getting this right we don’t have to look very far to see where it is badly wrong.

“The Windrush scandal, the hostile environment are utterly shameful, and Conservatives, one and all, should be ashamed of these policies.”