Managing Scotland's borders after independence and European Union accession

Katy Hayward*, Nicola McEwen, Milena Komarova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Brexit has both increased the momentum towards Scottish independence and complicated what it could mean in practice, especially if Scotland rejoins the European Union (EU). EU accession would re-open the flow of goods, people, services and capital between Scotland and other EU member-states; a corollary of this, however, would be new restrictions on movement between Scotland and its non-EU neighbours. Effective border management entails a variety of ‘at the border’ and ‘behind the border’ processes. As much as these would require dedicated infrastructure and trained personnel, they would ultimately depend upon reliable data/information and good communication among myriad agencies, including on the other side of the border. Fundamentally, the nature and form of the border controls would be determined largely by the relationship that an independent Scotland had with the remainder of the UK—and, principally, on the relationship that the UK develops with the EU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
JournalNational Institute Economic Review
Issue numberSpring 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2023


  • Border management
  • Scotland
  • Independence
  • Customs
  • Single market


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