Attn: Newsdesks/political correspondents
For immediate release: 30th July 2016
Alex Salmond: 'Prime Minister Caught Red-Handed in Referendum Scaremongering.'
Former First Minster , Alex Salmond MP, has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for her erratic stance on passport controls, after she was "caught red-handed" employing political scaremongering tactics.
In 2014, Mrs May claimed that an independent Scotland "would mean border controls between a separate Scotland and the United Kingdom."
The then Home Secretary added that independence would result in "Passport checks to visit friends and relatives. A literal and figurative barrier between our nations."
May continued this scaremongering rhetoric in the run up to the European Union referendum, applying it to Ireland when she said: "Northern Ireland outside the EU could not prevent free movement and continue with an open North/South Border."
As Prime Minister, she reversed this stance, claiming last week that the Common Travel Area in existence since 1923 removed the need for passport controls at the Irish border; pledging as Prime Minister to avoid any such thing.
In response, Mr Salmond said:
"The Prime Minister has been caught red-handed participating in blatent scare tactics. The latest Tory volte-face is welcome but is carried out at some considerable damage to her political reputation.
"May didn't hesitate to blindly deploy project fear back in 2014, where she floated the Orwellian notion of border controls between Scotland and England.
"Her comments to the same effect with regards to Ireland not only reflect poor judgement but have now been exposed as blatent scaremongering. We can now safely conclude that her pronouncements in 2014 were little more than empty threats.
"The truth is, and has always been, that we have had a common travel area in these islands since the 1920s, which has encompassed recently not just the Republic of Ireland but the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, which are not in the European Union.
"There are differences between Irish immigration policy and immigration policy in the rest of the UK, but that never has been to the detriment of the common travel area.
"Theresa May's abandonment of the scaremongering tactics so readily employed by the UK Government exposes the reality.
"In politics, scaremongering can suit the moment but when people see through it then it carries consequences.
"With another referendum on Scottish independence becoming ever more likely the people of Scotland should remember how the scaremongering of 2014 has now been exposed and discredited."
Notes to Editors:
Theresa May's comments in The Guardian on a border between Scotland and England can be found here:
Her comments regarding border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in The Irish Times can be found here:
The Prime Minister's latest comments, in The Telegraph can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/24/theresa-may-visits-northern-ireland-to-insist-border-controls-wi/