Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has reiterated calls for the UK Government to fully devolve powers over immigration to the Scottish Parliament.
There is now a consensus emerging in Scotland on the benefits that migrants bring to the Scottish economy and wider 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.
Mr Newlands, said: “The SNP has long campaigned for the UK Government to take a different, and more sensible approach to immigration, but successive UK Governments have continually failed to seize the opportunities which immigration brings to our economy and wider society.
“Thankfully, there is now a growing consensus around the benefits of migration to Scotland emerging and it’s about time that all parties back our calls for a differentiated migration system for Scotland. I was fortunate to visit Canada last year and saw for myself how differential immigration regimes work there.
“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.
“The Cynical empty rhetoric deployed by Ruth Davidson on immigration recently is simply empty words as she manoeuvres herself internally within the Conservative leadership merry-go-round, if it was not, she would not have voted consistently against devolving immigration to Scottish Parliament. Her colleagues in the Tory UK Government should stop ignoring the cross sector calls coming from Scotland and devolve immigration now.”