The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:33 pm on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader 1:33 pm, 24th October 2019

I absolutely agree. I was about to come on to the details in our amendment about the loss of freedom of movement and the problems it will cause. As our amendment sets out, we believe

“that freedom of movement has brought immeasurable social, cultural and economic benefits to the people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the European Union as a whole”.

I wish to focus for a moment on the economic benefits of immigration and the significant problems that will be caused by the implementation of the immigration Bill that the Government intend to bring forward.

Each EU citizen who comes to Scotland adds £34,400 to GDP each year. That is not an insignificant number. Those people who choose to come to live and work in Scotland are largely young and working, they have relatively few healthcare needs and are contributing economically to our country’s wealth. Reducing the number of EU migrants by setting arbitrary salary levels and reducing our ability to attract both long-term and seasonal migrants will hit our economy even harder than some of the other things associated with Brexit. We do not want this future. We want our country to continue to be the welcoming, inclusive, outward-looking country that it is and we absolutely reject the Tories’ proposals on immigration.