STUDENTS from across the UK who are at universities north of the Border at the time of independence should be eligible for Scottish citizenship, according to a proposal which has put forward for the SNP conference.

A motion in the provisional conference agenda says that an independent Scotland within the EU can gain from a “brain gain” by attracting young skilled workers after leaving the UK.

The Edinburgh Central and Newington and Southside branches, which have drawn up the suggestion, notes the party’s position is that all British citizens “habitually resident in Scotland” at the time of independence will be immediately eligible for Scottish citizenship.

It says this should be expanded to include all British students from the rest of the UK who are studying or have an accepted place in Scottish universities at the time of independence - making them eligible for Scottish citizenship when they graduate.

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The resolution also say existing free categories and structures should remain in Scottish universities at the time of independence, whether they are students from home, EU, the rest of the UK or international students.

“All British students from rUK currently studying, or with accepted places, in Scottish universities at the time of independence will be considered ‘habitually resident’ in Scotland at the successful conclusion of their degree programme, and therefore be eligible for Scottish citizenship,” the resolution states.

“The status quo of the existing university fee categories and structures will remain the same for all students enrolled, or with accepted places, in Scottish universities at the time of independence (EU/Home, rUK, International).

“Conference believes such a position is a vital step towards leveraging Scotland’s world-leading higher education sector to attract the talent needed to meet our future economic and demographic challenges.

“Conference notes Scotland possesses enormous structural advantages that must be purposefully leveraged via a progressive immigration system.

“Indeed, with this sector acting as a beacon, an independent Scotland within the EU stands to benefit from a significant ‘brain gain’ as young skilled workers from across rUK settle and build families in Scotland, drawn by its relatively lower cost of living, strong progressive culture, and the full rights of EU citizenship.”

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The White Paper published for the 2014 referendum proposed an “inclusive model of citizenship”, with British citizens habitually resident – a term used in international law - in Scotland to be considered Scottish citizens.

This included British citizens who held dual citizenship with another country and Scottish born British citizens who were living outside of Scotland. People would also be able to apply for Scottish citizenship following independence, the document said.

Another resolution in the draft agenda for the October conference calls for all groups involved in the Yes campaign to sign up to a code of conduct.

The National:

The suggestion has been put forward by a number of party members, including SNP President Michael Russell, MPs Alyn Smith, Hannah Bardell and Pete Wishart, MSPs Karen Adam and Graeme Dey, policy development convenor Toni Giugliano and councillors Graham Campbell and Siobhan Tolland.

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It says the code of conduct should be “built on the principles of freedom, tolerance, equality, the protection of individual and community rights and the rejection of prejudice and discrimination in any form”.

The resolution states: “Conference therefore supports the adoption of a code of conduct such as that produced by a range of bodies including the Aberdeen Independence Movement and a similar code drafted by Believe in Scotland and would wish to see all organisations involved in the YES campaign - including the SNP - adhering to such a code of conduct in all of our campaigning for independence.”

The final agenda for the SNP conference, which will take place at the Event Complex in Aberdeen October 8-10 later this year, may not include all the resolutions put forward.