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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
English incomers the 'New Scots'
Scotland sign
The interviewees said they felt at home
People from England who settle north of the border do not experience prejudice and consider themselves the New Scots, according to a Dundee University academic.

Dr Murray Watson has written a book based on research which found that the majority of English people living in Scotland did not experience anti-Englishness.

And many said they resented the way the media, in both Scotland and England, exaggerated tensions and difficulties between the English and Scottish.

Dr Watson said he carried out an in-depth study of 62 specially selected people's experience.

The academic's findings are in stark contrast to those of Professor Bill Miller, of Glasgow University, who spoke to 1,000 English people who had settled in Scotland.

Last week he revealed that about 25% of those surveyed said they had been harassed or discriminated against by ordinary Scots.

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Dr Watson, who was born in Scotland but spent 40 years of his life living and working in England, found in his study that the English are Scotland's largest ethnic minority group.

Until now most people had considered the Irish to be Scotland's biggest minority, but Dr Watson found that over the last 200 years more than one million English people had come to live in Scotland.

At the last count in 2001 there were more than 408,000 English people living north of the border and just 21,774 Irish.

Dr Watson said nine out of 10 English migrants said they had not experienced anti-Englishness, other than in the form of teasing and banter which occurred when Scotland played England at rugby or football.

He added: "There were recorded incidents of unpleasantness, but we have to remember that much of the Scots' ire is directed against England the state and not English people.

In-depth interviews

"Furthermore, compared with other ethnic groups in Scotland, the English, who outnumber them by almost two to one, are at the receiving end of considerable less violence, harassment and discrimination."

Dr Watson said he discovered that more than half of the new settlers considered themselves New Scots, or a combination of Scots/English or British.

Less than one in 10 considered themselves wholly English.

He found the notion that the only English to settle north of the border were the middle classes who chose the Highlands as their retreat was not true.

Most English people live in the central belt, most come to work and their social composition essentially matches that of the Scots.

Dr Watson's book Being English in Scotland published by Edinburgh University Press was based on a study involving in-depth interviews with English-born people living all over Scotland.

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