Emigration and identity
Much of the discussion around the relevance of migration and migrants to the Scottish independence debate revolves around the effects of independence on current immigration policies in Scotland and the rest of the UK. But in the last two centuries, Scotland’s population change has been characterised more by emigration than by immigration.
In September 2014 Scotland will hold a referendum on its constitutional future. Borders and immigration are one of a number of controversial elements of the vociferous debate that has surrounded this historic ballot. Immigration policy is a hotly contested issue in many European states, but the issue is particularly pertinent in the context of Scotland and the UK and the imminent referendum. This can be attributed to the administrations in London and Edinburgh holding inherently contradictory positions on immigration.
In the Migration Observatory’s recent analysis of public opinion about immigration in Scotland, one intriguing finding was that about one person in ten in Scotland said that when they think about immigrants, one group they normally have in mind is British citizens arriving from England.