Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Migration and Scotland

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 11th February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 4:41 pm, 11th February 2020

I am very interested that the hon. Member says that. He was chastising people before for not having read the Scottish Government’s paper. In their paper, they talk about the Canadian experience. I mention Canada and Australia because those are the two models that the Scottish Government talk about, ignoring the fact that both Canada and Australia are geographically vast countries and their geographical experiences are not particularly relevant to the United Kingdom’s. On page 81 of their paper, the Scottish Government specifically say about the Canadian experience:

“Migrants reported that the most significant factor affecting retention in the province of nomination”— in other words, migrants staying in the province where they originally went—

“was economic: onward movement was most likely to occur where they considered that better or more job opportunities were available outside of their original province. This points to the importance of linking provincial migration with labour market opportunities.”

The hon. Member has argued that London is a much more attractive place for migrants. Following the logic of the arguments made in his own paper would result in the conclusion that the Scottish Government would allow lots of people to go to Scotland, and that those people would then look across the United Kingdom at more attractive job opportunities, which he has just pointed out are in London; they would then not stay in Scotland, thus effectively nullifying the policy.