THE full details of who will be eligible to become a Scottish citizen after the country leaves the UK have been published in the fifth white paper on independence.

The latest paper in the “Building a New Scotland” series is to be launched at an event bringing together a number of New Scots, including Ukrainian and Syrian refugees.

It has set out proposals to make it easier for those from overseas to apply for Scottish citizenship after independence.

Details on passports, the Common Travel Area, British and EU citizens are all included.

It follows an Irish citizenship model which allows the children of Scottish citizens to automatically qualify even if they have been born outwith the country.

The report said: “Most Scottish people right now are British citizens.

“UK law allows British citizens to hold multiple nationalities. We propose that, after independence, the law in Scotland would allow Scottish citizens to do the same – so people can hold both Scottish and British citizenship if they want, or only one or the other.”

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It further explained that British citizens would not have to become Scottish citizens after independence in order to live and work in Scotland, because Scotland would continue to be part of the Common Travel Area, which includes the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

It laid out that there would be four ways to become a Scottish citizen if Scotland becomes an independent country:

  • automatic entitlement on the day of independence
  • by birth after independence
  • by registering as a Scottish citizen, or
  • by applying to become a Scottish citizen

People resident in Scotland who are not British citizens would not automatically become Scottish citizens at the point of independence.

Migrants in Scotland lawfully would be able to apply for naturalisation as a Scottish citizen and naturalisation as a citizen would become available after five years of lawful residence in Scotland in most cases, and at least one year as a settled person free of immigration control.

It said: “These may run concurrently, depending on how and when an individual becomes eligible for settlement.”

It also revealed that Scottish passports would follow the EU recommendations and be burgundy red.

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In the conclusion, the report said: “Scotland is an open, inclusive and welcoming country. We would continue to be so for our closest neighbours in the UK and Ireland, for our fellow Europeans, and for anyone, anywhere in the world, who chooses to come to Scotland to live, work, study or raise a family.

“If they wish to take it up, the offer of becoming a Scottish citizen would be there following the proposed rules outlined in this paper – but we would continue to value all of the people of Scotland.”

Commenting ahead of the launch, Humza Yousaf said: “Today I’ll outline the Scottish Government’s proposals for citizenship in an independent Scotland – they are inclusive, bold, and they will help boost both our population and economy.

“Scotland’s working population is being hit by a heartless Westminster migration system that isn’t fit for purpose, and a hard Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for, making our population challenges significantly worse.

“I am in no doubt that alongside the climate crisis, the challenges of an ageing population are one of the biggest issues future generations will face in Scotland, unless action is taken today.

“The Scottish Government wants to make it easier for people, including those seeking to reconnect with family roots, to gain citizenship and contribute to our economy, society and public services like the NHS.”

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The First Minister said that Scottish citizens will also be able to enjoy the benefits of EU citizenship under plans for Scotland to rejoin as an independent country.

He added: “An independent Scotland will be a welcoming country as part of our ambition to be an inclusive, progressive and prosperous nation. I look forward to the debate about what citizenship will mean in a modern, independent Scotland.”

The Scottish Government said it would also also be publishing a further paper on migration.

It comes amid growing scrutiny by Westminster of the work of Independence Minister Jamie Hepburn, who is responsible for the publication of the papers.

However, Yousaf has hit back saying it is well within well within the jurisdiction of the Scottish Government to have civil servants working on papers making the case for Yes.

Here is the full paper.