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Migration and Scotland

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 5:41 pm, 11th February 2020

The hon. Gentleman is correct about that. As a member of the all-party group on hospitality, I agree very much that that sector needs to have people coming in here to do those jobs and that we value them as well, because they bring not only their skills to our restaurants and catering services, but their food, which we enjoy. We should thank them, rather than making them feel unwelcome.

Let me move on to people in the care sector and the issues they face. A couple came to see me on 16 December 2015, having worked in care homes and been very much valued there. They were then at the point of working in their care home voluntarily because the Home Office had rescinded their right to work. They had a son they were are putting through school. They came to see me at my surgery on 13 January to say that finally, after five years, they had been granted their status. They were looking forward to going back to work in the care home, because that care home had kept the faith that they would eventually get the chance to work and be paid for it. During that period of many years they were hosted by volunteers from Positive Action in Housing, and they were supported by the British Red Cross, their solicitors McGlashan MacKay and a range of services that provided them with food for free, with food banks and with other things. They had to come to my office to get school uniforms for their growing son. During that time they were destitute. What does that say to that family? They want to come here and work hard, they are in a valuable role, but the Home Office says, “No, actually, we don’t need you.” We know that we do. We know that we need people in the care sector, yet a couple who have dedicated their lives to caring are being told that they cannot do that. So I have no confidence in the UK Government to make the required changes that will allow constituents such as these to manage their lives, to be a success and to feel welcome in this country.