Sunday, 19 January 2020 11:20



The SNP has condemned Tory government plans to impose further restrictions on key EU workers coming to Scotland and the UK – warning the move risks inflicting “hostile environment 2.0" and harming key industries. 

Plans reported in the Sunday Telegraph reveal that Boris Johnson will scrap a temporary extension of the current immigration rules to 2023 – instead bringing forward “restrictive and damaging” immigration plans on the first day of Brexit after the transition period has ended this December.

The move would severely restrict the number of EU workers coming to the UK to work in key sectors in need of more workers, including the NHS and the agriculture sector.

Dave Doogan MP, the SNP’s Agriculture and rural affairs spokesperson, said:

“Plans by Boris Johnson to impose restrictive immigration plans would spell disaster for Scotland’s key sectors and businesses – including agriculture, food and drink, construction, and our NHS.

“This sort of signalling confirms our worst fears, that the Tories are engaged in a reckless race to the bottom on Brexit and do not care for the harm they will cause businesses and communities, particularly in the rural economy.

“Rather than listening to concerns of small and large businesses and the immigration needs of Scotland and the UK, the Tories are instead ploughing ahead with their damaging immigration plans – which risks inflicting hostile environment 2.0.

“At PMQs I warned the Prime Minister that my constituency requires four thousand seasonal workers alone – with neighbouring constituencies requiring a similar amount – so his plans for ten thousand isn’t even enough for Tayside let alone the rest of Scotland and the UK.

“If the Tory government continues to fail Scottish businesses, farmers and agriculture sector on this issue, then Holyrood should be given full control over immigration to build a fairer system that works for Scotland and meets our demographic and economic needs.

"However, it's becoming increasingly clear that this is a Tory government actively acting against our interests. The people of Scotland must have the choice of a better future as an independent country."

Boris Johnson on collision course with big business groups as aides plan to ditch two-year hiatus before new immigration rules:

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