When the Scottish government released its White Paper outlining what an independent Scotland might look like, migration policy was a small but essential element of it.
The White Paper promises a change in the direction of travel in migration policy for an independent Scotland. In recent years the UK has enacted a number of measures restricting various migration flows, and the present government aims to reduce net migration – the difference between immigration and emigration – below 100,000 annually. The White Paper outlines a vision for a set of migration policies that encourage skilled migrants to come to and remain in Scotland, in order to meet different demographic and economic objectives, which it explicitly contrasts with the present 'Westminster approach'.
In an independent Scotland governed by this vision of citizenship, there would be multiple ways to become Scottish: through residency, or ancestry, or prior British citizenship, however that might have been acquired. These options combine the two major logics of citizenship, the logics of 'soil' (jus soli) and of 'blood' (jus sanguinis). Moreover, residence on Scottish territory, even without being born in Scotland or of Scottish ancestry, can be a qualification for citizenship as well. The White Paper thus proposes a rather inclusive citizenship regime.
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