A question of borders and bananas

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If Scotland’s citizens were to vote in favour of independence in next year’s referendum, there are some who might welcome passport controls and patrols.

In fact, there are those who would happily see a wire fence, complete with machine-gun towers and minefields – such is their antagonism to our southerly neighbours.

This week we report on a new academic study which outlines the complexities that could arise from a ‘yes’ vote, when it comes to European borders.

Professor Robert Wright of Strathclyde University believes the EU’s masters could well insist on an independent Scotland joining the Schengen area free-travel arrangement, which allows unimpeded crossings between 26 EU member states.

The UK is not a member of Schengen, which would mean if Scotland was forced to sign up as a condition of EU membership, then technically the EU could insist on border controls from the Tweed to the Solway Firth.

Many might think this on a par with crackpot EU dictats such as the one about the curve of bananas – but it is one of a myriad of questions yet to receive a definitive answer from either the EU or the Holyrood government.

Until we get such specific questions definitively answered, then SNP leader Alex Salmond is going to have a tough time rallying the rest of us to march with him down to the polling stations and vote for separatism.