Wednesday, 19 December 2018 06:08

IMMIGRATION PAPER DRIVEN BY TORY POLITICS, NOT ECONOMIC INTERESTS

The SNP’s Immigration spokesperson has warned that the Tory government’s belatedly published immigration white paper is driven solely by Tory politics, which will harm public services and businesses.

Responding to the Home Secretary in Westminster, Stuart McDonald MP said that the proposals would be “ripping up” mutual rights to live, study, work and enjoy family life across the EU.

At PMQs, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson Peter Grant MP also challenged the Prime Minister to set out a “single tangible benefit" that constituents will notice that will compensate for "lower earnings, lower standards of living & staff shortages in public services," as a result of the proposals.  

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

Stuart McDonald MP said:

“This is an immigration white paper driven solely by Tory politics which will harm our public services, small and large businesses and the economy.

“In the same week as ramping up preparations for a disastrous no-deal Brexit - pushing businesses further into uncertainty and instability - the UK government has belatedly published plans which may shut the door on key workers needed for our public services and businesses.

“These policies do not signify ‘global Britain,’ instead they are the sign of an inward-looking Tory government obsessed with a nonsensical net migration target.

“The flawed approach of linking skills to earnings means vital workers, such as those in our health service, will be viewed by this Tory government as low-skilled. With the NHS and a number of other industries already facing staff shortages, the Tories must scrap the £30,000 threshold entirely – not kick it down the road to a consultation.

“The UK government’s plans will also be devastating for the Scottish economy and public services. Scotland’s demographics make it essential that we attract people to live and work here, and a reduction of 85% of people coming from the EEA will have a massively detrimental impact.

“The SNP has repeatedly made the case for a tailored approach to immigration in Scotland in order to address its distinct needs. If the Tories are intent on ignoring Scotland’s voice once again and implement their damaging post-Brexit immigration plans, then the Scottish Government must have control of the powers to protect Scotland's specific needs and interests."

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