Expat Scots scared by thought of becoming illegal immigrants

Expat Scots scared by thought of becoming illegal immigrants

Expat Scots scared by thought of becoming illegal immigrants

Midnight tonight is the deadline for Scots living in the home country to registered to vote in the upcoming Independence Referendum, but expat Scots are concerned they may end up as illegal immigrants.

Scots in Spain and other expat destinations have been disallowed the opportunity to vote in the crucial referendum. However, should the vote confirm independence, they will lose their status as European Union citizens and become illegal immigrants as a result.

Alex Salmond, leader of the nationalist Scottish National Party, believes that the country would have no problems with automatic EU membership due to its North Sea oil and other natural resources. However, membership would depend on a ‘yes’ vote by current member states, including Spain.

The Mediterranean expat hub has its own important energy sector as well as rich natural resources. According to its Foreign Affairs minister Jose Manuel Margallo, it’s not about to interfere in any Scottish decision, but he’s not commenting whether a veto would be used should a vote become necessary.

EU policy experts consider that Spain is very likely to veto an independent Scotland’s automatic EU entry, and Belgium and other EU states are expected to follow Spain’s lead. Formal membership of the EU takes at lease five years, which would leave Scottish expats living in EU member states with little option but to return home.

Whilst independent observers of the referendum consider it unlikely that Scottish independence will be achieved later this month, Scottish politicians of all shades are being advised to consider their options carefully. As for Scots in sunny Spain, they’re just hoping they’ll be allowed to stay.

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