Scotland politics

Scottish independence: What might happen to...?

In an independent Scotland, would immigrants have to take a citizenship test, and what would buying a new car be like?

Here are five questions sent in by BBC news website readers asking about what might happen in the event of a "Yes" vote on 18 September.

Do you have a referendum question? Email it to with the subject 'Referendum questions.'

1. Citizen McCain

Image copyright PA
Image caption Would-be Scottish citizens probably wouldn't have to sit a citizenship test

Lorna Wilkie asks: "Will those seeking to move to Scotland from other parts of the UK need to sit a citizenship test?"

External affairs minister Humza Yousaf said that the Scottish government had no plans for a written citizenship test.

The Scottish government proposes that, on day one of independence, all UK citizens born in Scotland or living in Scotland would automatically be considered Scottish citizens, and be able to hold dual British and Scottish citizenship.

If you want to apply for Scottish citizenship, you'll have to meet certain criteria. For example, they should have a parent or grandparent who qualifies for Scottish citizenship, or demonstrable connection to Scotland and have spent at least 10 years living there at some stage.

But, according to Mr Yousaf, it seems unlikely that you'll have to swot up on your Scottish history for a citizenship exam.

2. Car key question

Image caption It's not entirely clear what effect independence would have on vehicle purchases

Mark Rooke asks: "Could you confirm how the procedure of buying new cars will go for residents in Scotland after independence?"

At the moment, pre-registration of a vehicle with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) by a car dealer allows their customers to get a better deal on imported cars.

The Scottish government intend to continue using the services of the DVLA for a some time after independence and, if this happens, the practice of pre-registration would continue unchanged until a new Scottish agency has been established.

Once the new "Scottish Motoring Services Agency" is set up, it would be be up to whoever is elected to the Scottish government in May 2016 to decide how this new agency would deal with pre-registration.

The DVLA and UK Department for Transport said that they could not comment or speculate in advance of the referendum on Scottish independence.

3. Freight's fate

Image copyright PA
Image caption The status of lorry licenses depends on Scotland's entry to the EU

Gary McGill asks: "If Scotland were to become independent, what would happen to Operator Licensing Scheme which is run by The Department of Transport, Vehicle & Operator Services Agency?"

The freight sector is mostly regulated by European legislation and, if Scotland gains entry into the EU, the licence scheme would continue as it is at the moment.

The Scottish government said: "The road freight sector is governed primarily through European legislation, which is aimed at ensuring the free movement of goods and fair competition across Europe.

"EU rules govern drivers' hours and working time regulations; common rules on international movement of goods across member states; vehicle standards; vehicle weights and dimensions; initial driver training and drivers Certificate of Professional Competence; the operator licensing regime; health and safety requirements; and a range of regulations aimed at improving road safety."

However, opponents of independence say that an independent Scotland's EU membership isn't guaranteed.

4. Down under

Image caption Australians will be able to keep up with the referendum on BBC Online

David Halliday asks: "I'm in Australia and iPlayer is blocked here, but I want to watch the referendum night coverage. What are my options?"

The iPlayer is indeed blocked internationally as it's a service just for licence payers - sorry Australia!

However, the streaming service on the news site can be viewed globally.

The BBC's TV and radio results programmes on referendum night will be streamed on the news site, just as it usually does with election programmes, so you should log on to the BBC news website rather than iPlayer to see the programme.

Australia is seven to nine hours ahead of the UK so, where you are, the result will most likely be in the late morning or early afternoon of 19 September.

5. Dual renewal?

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption British citizens are usually allowed to have multiple citizenship

Lindsay Eaglesham asks: "I was born in Scotland but I am now a dual citizen, holding two passports: Canadian and U.K. Would I be able to continue with that, or would I have to take Scottish citizenship?'

Don't worry, your British citizenship isn't about to be taken away.

The Scottish government says you, having been born in Scotland, would be eligible for Scottish citizenship on day one of independence, but it will be possible to "opt out" if you want, which means you would be unaffected.

Moreover, the UK border agency says there are "normally no restrictions, in United Kingdom law, on British nationals having the citizenship of one or more other countries as well".

So, even if you want to become a Scottish citizen, it's very unlikely your British citizenship would be revoked.