Mar 24 2012
Scottish independence would open up the borders to "mass immigration", Home Secretary Theresa May is due to warn.
In her speech to the Scottish Conservative conference in Troon, Ms May will say that if Scotland joins Europe's borderless "Schengen area" it "will open Scotland's border up to mass immigration".
A number of constitutional experts and unionist politicians have warned that Scotland would have to reapply to Europe if it separated from the UK.
They argue that the rest of the UK would retain the opt-outs it has negotiated over the years, including the right to hold passport checks at the UK border through its opt-out of the Schengen Agreement, but Scotland would not.
Some have argued that this will result in the necessity for passport checks at the Scottish border, but the SNP insists it will share the UK's successor status and retain its opt-outs.
Ms May will outline the "dangers" of joining Europe's Schengen area. She will say: "The Scottish Nationalist Party is not made up of nationalists. Nor should we see them as patriots. They are separatists.
"Separatists like Alex Salmond want to duck the tough questions. He calls himself a social democrat yet he fails to deal with the many issues for democracy that arise from being a separate Scotland.
"He calls himself a progressive but what's progressive about breaking Scotland off from the rest of the United Kingdom then giving away powers to Europe?
"It completely defeats the SNP argument that Scotland would fare better with more control over its affairs when they seek to hand over so many serious areas of government elsewhere.
"And people want to know - and they have the right to know - what handing over those powers will mean. Joining Europe's borderless Schengen area ... will open Scotland's border up to mass immigration."