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House of Commons Hansard
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Scottish Independence
10 June 2013
Volume 564
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17. Whether Scots would be able to retain UK citizenship if Scotland became an independent country. [158505]

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Decisions on UK citizenship are for the UK Government. Any decisions on the retention of UK citizenship by Scottish citizens after independence would be affected by future Scottish Government policy decisions. To date, the current Scottish Government have not set out what their proposed policies would be in these areas.

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I am grateful for the Secretary of State’s response, which will be noted by my constituent Colin White. Does she wish to take the opportunity to debunk the myth peddled only last week by high-profile Scottish National party supporter Jim McColl? He said that a vote for independence would mean that Scotland would remain a part of the United Kingdom.

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I am happy to help the hon. Gentleman and debunk that myth. To be absolutely clear: a vote for independence is a vote for a Scotland that will be outside the United Kingdom. The referendum offers a fundamental choice between staying in the UK or leaving it and forming a new independent Scottish state. That is the legal reality of independence. As the Prime Minister said in Stirling on Friday:

“There is simply no challenge we face today where breaking up Britain is the right answer.”

The United Kingdom is stronger together and better together.

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We just wish that the Prime Minister would come to Scotland much more often, because it increases support for independence. The right hon. Lady will know that after independence it will be possible to keep a UK passport. The real question is why, with a new dynamic Scotland in charge of its own resources and making its own peaceful contribution to the world, anybody would want anything other than a Scottish passport in Scotland.

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I suggest to the hon. Gentleman that he thinks very carefully about what he has said, and perhaps looks at the Hansard record of it. As I made clear in answer to the hon. Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr McCann), decisions about UK citizenship rest with the United Kingdom Government. However, if there is a vote in the referendum for separation, Scotland will become a separate state and not be part of the United Kingdom. That is a very simple fact and I suggest the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) recognises it.