Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Miliband raises border post prospect

Ed Miliband
Image caption Mr Miliband's comments came during a lunch with journalists in Edinburgh

Ed Miliband has said a Labour government at Westminster would consider building border posts if Scotland voted for independence.

The Labour leader said he "would have to look at the issue of a border" if the Scottish government achieved its goal of a looser immigration policy.

His comments came during a lunch with journalists in Edinburgh.

Scottish ministers said border checks between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would not be necessary.

Earlier, the Labour leader urged voters in Scotland to reject independence, ahead of the 18 September referendum.

During the lunch, Mr Miliband said: "I think it's certainly the case that we would have to look at the issue of a border if you have different immigration policies.

"It totally stands to reason. If you have markedly different immigration policies, obviously that becomes an issue between Scotland and the rest of the UK."

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has suggested Scotland would need to encourage immigration to help redress the balance between working people and pensioners.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "An independent Scotland will continue to be a member of the current Common Travel Area with the rest of the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, so there will be no need for border checks between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

"The Common Travel Area already allows for different and independent immigration policies within it.

"And this flexibility in the Common Travel Area will enable us to implement our own design for a controlled and more flexible immigration system."