Immigration

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:37 pm on 26th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Masterton Paul Masterton Conservative, East Renfrewshire 2:37 pm, 26th June 2019

I thought that ours was a very good inquiry. That is why I said that I did not believe that the devolution of immigration policy was not possible. It is perfectly possible, but I do not believe that it is in Scotland’s best interests, and that is what the NFUS was saying. It said that the best way forward for Scottish industry and the Scottish economy was to retain it in a UK-wide network. We have the opportunity here and now, post Brexit, to create that network—a network that will work.

Post Brexit, we will be building our own immigration policy for the first time in more than 40 years. We need to use it as a chance to prove to the world that we are still an open, inclusive and welcoming nation. That is not always evident from debates here, and from things that certain people say on television. If people throughout the world want to come to our great country to build or rebuild their futures, that is something that we should welcome, celebrate and be proud of. It is a sign of our success as a nation, not something to be afraid of.

Immigration, ultimately, is not some problem that needs to be fixed. John Major said that there was nothing as Conservative as pulling your loved ones close and striking out to build a better future for your family, and he was absolutely right. As we build that new immigration system, let us ensure that those words, and that attitude, remain at the heart of our approach.