Disastrous Tory immigration policies are failing Scotland

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Scotland is an inclusive and internationalist country, with a long history of welcoming people of all nationalities.

However, the Tories’ disastrous, draconian approach to migration is incompatible with the values of Scotland’s society and the needs of our economy.

Instead of recognising Scotland’s unique demographic needs, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel are slamming the door shut at all costs.

Here’s what you need to know.

1) The Tories’ new migration system completely disregards Scotland’s needs

Scotland relies on migration to grow our population and fuel our economy – more so than anywhere else in the UK.

Despite claiming that it works for all of the UK, the Tories’ new system does not recognise any of Scotland’s distinct demographic or economic needs – while Boris Johnson’s government failed to consult or engage with the Scottish Government.

Experts estimated that it will lead to a 50-80% reduction in net migration from the EU – potentially causing “significant labour shortages”, especially in Scotland’s rural areas that are already struggling with depopulation.

2) Migration enriches our society

The Scottish Government’s analysis has revealed that each EU citizen working in Scotland generates an additional £10,000 in government revenue and adds £34,000 to GDP each year.

It’s clear that our economy and communities are strengthened by people who choose to make Scotland their home, wherever they come from.

Boris Johnson’s irresponsible ‘hostile environment’ migration policies are failing Scotland and have no place in our society.

3) The Scottish Parliament backed the devolution of migration powers, supported by a wide range of experts

There is cross-party support, lead by the SNP and backed by all parties apart from the Tories, for migration powers to be brought to Holyrood, after the previous Parliament overwhelmingly voted for a tailored immigration system – one that respects Scotland’s interests, provides much-needed staff for our public services, and puts compassion and human dignity at its heart.

This is reinforced by the backing of the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population, as well as expert organisations including the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Federation of Small Business (FSB), and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).

4) Scotland can’t afford more of Westminster’s failed approach

Scotland’s own immigration system would serve our needs much better than an out-of-touch system designed in Westminster.

The Scottish Government’s proposed Scottish Visa system would be an additional option alongside other UK visas post-Brexit, boosting Scotland’s economy, strengthening our public services, and reflecting our welcoming and open-minded culture.

The UK Government’s proposed policy of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands could damage Scotland’s economy by up to £10 billion per year by 2040.

Either the Tories are in complete denial about the devastating impact of their migration plans, or they’re fully aware of the economic damage they will unleash – while simply not caring about the consequences for Scotland.

5) The only way to remain a welcoming country and protect our interests is with independence

The SNP will continue fighting for full devolution of migration powers to Holyrood, but the only way to guarantee getting rid of the Tory ‘hostile environment’ is by becoming an independent country.

An independent Scotland can be free from the cruel immigration raids, xenophobic migration politics, and assert itself as the welcoming country that’s proud of the contributions migrants make to our society.

When the pandemic is over, people in Scotland must have the choice over our future, so we can build a society that truly reflects Scotland’s values – not those of Boris Johnson and his right-wing ilk.