Challenge to UK government on 'deeply unfair' immigration policies

By staff writers
December 22, 2014

The Scottish National Party, which is now the third largest political party by membership in Britain, has restated its call for powers over immigration to be transferred to Scotland

The call comes after reports of what the Scottish Government majority party calls "further deeply unfair immigration policies" being proposed by UK Home Secretary Theresa, which critics in Scotland say could seriously damage the economy.

The Conservatives are now reported to be considering plans to force non-European (EU) students to leave the UK after their courses finish and apply for a work visa if they wish to return to the UK for work.

The Home Secretary’s plans would negatively affect economic growth in Scotland - and could risk the international reputation of our world-leading university sector, say many education and business leaders.

Christian Allard MSP commented: “These ludicrous plans are economically illiterate as well as socially divisive - and are the exact opposite of what Scotland needs.

“International students make a key contribution to our economy and to our society – and to have this put at risk by an immigration policy driven by the Westminster parties’ obsession with pandering to UKIP shows exactly why these powers should be in Scotland’s hands.

“While the Scottish Government wants to see Scotland with a positive and effective immigration policy- as things stand we are hamstrung by the policies of a Westminster establishment engaged in a race to the right in an attempt to outflank UKIP and which is putting economic growth and our international reputation at risk as a result.

“This is exactly why powers over immigration should be in Scotland’s hands rather than Westminster’s, to allow us to develop a fairer system which supports economic growth and strengthens our education sector – rather than these deeply unfair plans proposed by Theresa May.”

The Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party, which along with the SNP favour a more open migration policy, have also expressed wishes for the powers to be given to the Scottish Government - something not reflected in Smith Commission recommendations.

* Ekklesia's non party Submission to the Smith Commission on devolution to Scotland - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21086

* International Migrants Day: we need to change our thinking - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21172

* Post-referendum Scotland and the independence/devolution debate - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/scottishindependence

[Ekk/3]

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