Chapter 11

Immigration & Nationality

As an independent nation, Wales would decide who could cross our borders, whether it’s to live here temporarily (such as studying at university) or to start a new life for themselves and their families. We could choose a hard border, but this is not the only option, and independence would not necessitate guard posts on the Severn Bridge.

Ireland has been independent since 1922, but when you get off the ferry at Dublin or Rosslare you don’t need to show anyone your passport. This is because the UK and the Republic of Ireland have agreed a Common Travel Area (CTA) that allows citizens of the two countries to come and go as they please. In 2019, both the British and Irish governments agreed a memorandum of understanding to maintain the CTA after Brexit. An independent Wales, like an independent Scotland, would likely be offered the same deal as the Irish.

At the end of the day, immigration would be a matter for the Welsh government after independence, making decisions that are right for the people of Wales. This could mean doing a deal with the rest of the UK, and agreeing a common immigration policy. Or it could also mean forming independent agreements with the rest of the world with respect to who can live and work in Wales.

We can avoid travesties such as the mistreatment of the Windrush generation by the UK Government by abandoning their "Hostile Environment" policy which aims to discourage immigration through bullying. Wales would be well-placed to develop a humane approach to immigration and asylum with fairness and basic decency at its core.

The key point is that visitation, immigration and citizenship, like everything else, would be a decision for the people of Wales, based on Welsh needs.

 

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