European Union Citizenship

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:06 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 4:06 pm, 7th March 2018

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. I know that he shares my concerns about the unrealistic, counter-productive, one-size-fits-all net migration target that overlooks the incredible value of migrant people to our isles and the different economic needs of the highlands and islands, and of Scotland as a whole.

Over the next 10 years, 90% of Scotland’s population growth is projected to come from migration. This is especially vital for the highlands. Migration has created cultural and diverse communities that have tied us together, populated by many European Scots, solidifying our European identity. Twenty-one languages are spoken by pupils, for example, at Central Primary School in Inverness, such is the diversity of families settling in the highlands. European citizenship, whether it is our own or that of European citizens who are here, is very important for the economy—tourism accounts for 20% of the economy—as well as many other sectors. I could mention food processing, renewables, life sciences and so on, but I will not pause on those.