Wednesday, 30 May 2018 05:06



The SNP’s Westminster Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson, Joanna Cherry QC MP, has reiterated calls for the full devolution of immigration powers to Scotland – with a consensus emerging on the benefits that migrants bring to Scotland’s economy and society.

The Scottish Parliament backed calls for a differentiated approach on migration for Scotland earlier this year – acknowledging the specific needs of Scotland’s economy. Last week the Sustainable Growth Commission laid out the contribution that migrants make to Scotland – a net addition of £1.3 billion to our economy each year – with the Scottish Conservatives also acknowledging that UK policies are failing Scotland.

It was reported that Tory plans to cut net migration to the tens of thousands could cost Scotland’s economy £10 billion a year.

Commenting, Joanna Cherry QC MP, said:

“As a growing consensus around the benefits of migration to Scotland is emerging, now is the time for all parties to back a differentiated migration system for Scotland. Different immigration regimes can easily be run within the UK, as already happens in federations like Canada.

“The UK government is failing our economy and our society. In the wake of the Windrush scandal, I called upon Theresa May to scrap her failed migration targets, her hostile environment policy, and to carry out a root and branch review of immigration policy, including devolution of powers over visas and immigration to Scotland.  

“However, so far the Prime Minister and her new Home Secretary have shown no inclination to change direction for a more flexible approach to immigration, and repeated SNP calls upon David Mundell to restore the successful Post Study Work Visa to Scotland have also fallen on deaf ears.

“Scotland’s voice must be heard – and the levers over immigration, which are so vital to grow our economy, should come to Holyrood.

“A Scotland-specific migration system will allow us to prioritise what our economy and society needs – rather than having to abide by Tory plans to cut net migration, which we now know will cost our economy £10 billion a year. As we move closer to Brexit, we need the UK government to do more than simply drop their net migration targets – we need migration levels to be maintained, if not increased. In Scotland our demographic requirements mean immigration needs to be encouraged.

“Enough is enough. We need powers over migration to come to Scotland – we cannot continue standing by while the UK government damages our communities.”

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