Tuesday, 18 September 2018 16:00

TORIES' ‘LITTLE BRITAIN’ APPROACH TO IMMIGRATION DAMAGING THE ECONOMY

SNP: DEVOLVE POWERS TO HOLYROOD TO BUILD A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR SCOTLAND

The SNP has called for the devolution of immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament – warning the UK government’s ‘Little Britain’ hostile approach to immigration is damaging Scotland’s economy and public services.

Following the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report today, Stuart McDonald MP, SNP Immigration spokesperson said Westminster had proved itself to be “utterly incapable of standing up for Scotland’s needs and interests on immigration” over the past decade, and that “all the signs” suggested the Tories’ right-wing post-Brexit vision for immigration would cause “even more self-inflicted harm”.

The MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East welcomed the MAC report’s support for scrapping the Tier 2 visa cap on workers, which the SNP has long campaigned for, but said the recommendations went “nowhere near far enough” to meet the challenges Scotland will continue to face in attracting people to live, work and study - without control over immigration powers.

Commenting, Stuart McDonald MP said:

“It is vital that immigration powers are now devolved to the Scottish Parliament to ensure we can build a system that meets Scotland’s specific needs and values. 

“The UK government’s ‘Little Britain’ hostile approach to immigration is damaging Scotland’s economy and public services - by deterring the talent we need to attract to live, work and study here.

“Westminster has proven itself to be utterly incapable of standing up for Scotland’s needs and interests on immigration – and all the signs suggest that the Tories’ right-wing post-Brexit vision for immigration will cause even more self-inflicted harm, at the worst possible time for the country.

“The Tories and Labour have been consumed by a race to the bottom on immigration over the past decade – each trying to outdo UKIP with narrow-minded and xenophobic policies that are harming rather than benefiting the economy.

“Hostile Tory immigration policies, including the arbitrary net migration targets, the appalling treatment of EU nationals, and the senseless scrapping of important policies like the post study work visa, and seasonal agricultural workers scheme, have left the country poorer and worse off.

"The MAC report's proposal to scrap the tier 2 visa cap on workers, which the SNP has long campaigned for, is welcome - but the report's recommendations go nowhere near far enough to meet the challenges Scotland will continue to face in attracting people to live, work and study here, without control over immigration powers.

"When it comes to addressing Scotland's needs, this report is not fit for purpose. It completely ignores Scotland's rural population, and hugely important Scottish sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism, and health and social care.

“In addition, the suggestion that Scotland can deal with the demographic challenge in its workforce by simply raising the pension age is a frankly ridiculous proposition, and one which neither the SNP Government nor the people of Scotland would support.

“It’s no wonder that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland have no confidence in the UK government on immigration, and want to see the powers devolved to Holyrood - it is time the Tories listened. Building a tailored Scottish system is the only way to meet Scotland's needs, and ensure we can reap the huge benefits that immigration brings.”


Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report: EEA migration - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/migration-advisory-committee-mac-report-eea-migration?utm_source=b438e527-b25e-4df9-a7e4-4fc2f2972dd6

'Majority of Scots want Holyrood to control immigration' - https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16882564.majority-of-scots-want-holyrood-to-control-immigration/

‘Scotland’s Population Needs & Migration Policy’ - https://www.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00531087.pdf

‘SNP Demands Devolved Migration Powers For Scotland’ - https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/snp-demands-devolved-migration-powers-for-scotland_uk_5b76eefee4b018b93e937028

‘Devolve immigration policy post-Brexit, says Nicola Sturgeon’ - https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2018/05/14/devolve-immigration-policy-post-brexit-says-nicola-sturgeon/

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