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Migration and Scotland

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 6:08 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Wendy Chamberlain Wendy Chamberlain Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 6:08 pm, 11th February 2020

I thank the Minister for that, and I will follow it up.

I am certain that every Member of this House has a Valentyna in their constituency. All Members must be aware of the scale of this problem. Yesterday was further proof, when Members on both sides of the House spoke on Second Reading of the Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill, and we heard again and again of the inhumane treatment of ordinary people just trying to go about their lives. Three weeks ago, the other place returned the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) to this House with a number of amendments, one of which required the Home Office to provide physical documentation to evidence EU nationals’ right to remain in the UK as part of the settled status scheme. Is it any wonder that those who come to live in, work in and contribute to this country have no confidence in the current processes?

We, as a collective, are the lawmakers. We could change this, but it will require political willpower on all sides. I hope we can all agree—and there has been an element of consensus in the debate—that when we are talking about immigration, the question should be: what do we need to do to create an immigration system in which every person has their dignity respected, a system that is compassionate and effective; that works for both ordinary people and UK employers; and that works for Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland?

I thank the SNP for using this opportunity to highlight the failings in our immigration system, because it is broken for the whole of the UK. Trying to fix the system on a geographical basis is, however, not the answer and only serves to further fracture the complex processes that currently exist. We need an immigration system that treats people with humanity and works for the whole of this country.