UK's Labour says will look at border posts with independent Scotland

EDINBURGH Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:25pm EDT

The Saltire (R) and Union Flag fly together in a street before a debate in the Scottish Parliament on ‘Scotland’s future,’ in Edinburgh, Scotland September 18, 2013.    REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

The Saltire (R) and Union Flag fly together in a street before a debate in the Scottish Parliament on ‘Scotland’s future,’ in Edinburgh, Scotland September 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Russell Cheyne

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EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A Scottish vote for independence may result in border checks on the boundary with England under a British Labour government, the opposition leader said on Friday, joining the ruling Conservatives in casting doubt on separatists' hopes for an open border.

Scotland votes in a referendum on Sept. 18 over whether or not to separate from the rest of the UK and end a 307-year-old union with England.

While the separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) says there will still be free movement of people across the border between Scotland and England, Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May said in March she favoured imposing passport checks.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said on Friday that the SNP's vision of a different immigration policy for Scotland under independence could be incompatible with an open border.

"We would have to look at the issue of a border if you have different immigration policies," Miliband said.

On Thursday, senior Labour politician Ed Balls said border posts with an independent Scotland would be inevitable.

A Panelbase poll in December last year showed over three quarters of Britons outside of Scotland would support continued freedom of movement across the border.

(Adds dropped "year-old" in second paragraph)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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