Tuesday, 31 July 2018 05:01

SNP LAMENT UK GOVERNMENT’S LACK OF POST-BREXIT IMMIGRATION PLANS AS CLIFF-EDGE LOOMS

REPORT CALLS FOR “OPEN-MINDED” APPROACH OVER DEVOLVED IMMIGRATION POWERS

The SNP‘s Westminster Immigration spokesperson has warned that with time fast running out, the UK government’s lack of a coherent post-Brexit immigration policy has left “businesses and public services in the dark.”

A new report published by the Home Affairs Committee today (Tuesday) criticised the UK government’s approach over immigration and workers’ rights, stating that “immigration policy decisions now risk being caught up in a rushed and highly politicised debate in the run up to a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Stuart McDonald MP, who is a member of the Committee, also echoed conclusions in the report that recommended the UK government “remain open-minded to regional immigration approaches”.

The SNP has repeatedly called on the UK government to fully devolve immigration powers so that Scotland can bring forward a progressive approach that addresses its demographic and economic needs.

Commenting, Stuart McDonald MP said:

“The UK government is so far into its negotiations with the EU, yet it has said almost nothing about its future immigration policies for EU nationals who contribute massively - both economically and socially - to the UK.

“A coherent and progressive immigration policy is a vital part of our future relationship with the EU, and the UK government’s silence has left businesses and public services in the dark.

“The SNP has repeatedly made the case for a tailored approach to immigration in Scotland in order to address its demographic needs, so it is welcome that this new report also backs an open-minded approach to this.

“With the clock ticking, and only a matter of months before the UK leaves the EU, the UK government must seriously get a grip. The reality is that any diminution in free movement will have a damaging impact on Scotland’s economy and jobs market.

“Sadly, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid looks intent on pursuing the biggest departure from free movement which will hit Scotland’s economy, its ability to attract key workers, and will have a negative impact on different sectors – such as the NHS, agriculture and hospitality.”

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