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18 July 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Visa-Free Common Travel Area Plan Between Independent Ireland and UK to Boost Growth

Commenting on the news that that the UK and Irish governments are planning to deepen the existing Common Travel Area - which enables Irish and UK citizens to travel freely between both jurisdictions - by enabling business travellers and tourists from fast-growing Asian economies to travel on common visas between the two islands to boost their economies, local MSP Stewart Stevenson, said:

"Another day, and another Project Fear scare story bites the dust. The No campaigners have consistently argued that there would be border controls between Scotland and England if we vote Yes, when the reality is that the UK Government are working with Ireland to broaden and deepen the Common Travel Area which has existed between the two countries since the 1920s.

"A pilot project for mutual recognition of UK and Irish visas is to begin in the autumn, and the next step is for common visas to be issued and joint visa application centres set up abroad.

"That is the reality of two friendly, neighbouring, independent countries co-operating in their common interest - and it is a world away from the tripe that is trotted out on a daily basis by Project Fear.

"One by one, the No campaign's claims are being exposed and discredited - on mobile phone charges, triple-A credit rating, inward investment and Europe. Only this week, they were trying to argue the ridiculous case that having oil is somehow bad for Scotland - when the reality is that even without a drop of oil Scotland's economic output per head is 99% of the UK figure, and oil tax revenues would be a far smaller share of Scotland's revenue than is the case for Norway.

"If anyone from the No campaign ever again tries the argue the 'customs posts at the border' bogey, they will simply be laughed at in light of the UK Government working to broaden and deepen the existing Common Travel Area with Ireland.

"The basic problem for Project Fear is that it has got nothing good to say about Scotland - which is why it is reduced to tripe and dishonesty."

Stewart Stevenson
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