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 5:29 pm on 11th February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Bowie Andrew Bowie Conservative, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 5:29 pm, 11th February 2020

If people do not feel welcome here, or if they feel they will not have certainty when they come here, it is a gross misrepresentation of the position of this Government and of the situation in this country. Everybody in this Chamber and across the country needs to show that our doors are open to anybody who wants to come here to contribute, work hard and play by the rules. That has been the position of this Government and the Conservative party for many years, and it will continue to be so.

There are wider issues in attracting people to work and invest in Scotland. I do not think anyone on either side of the House has all the answers. This Government are committed to introducing a points-based system that will attract the people we need to these shores, while maintaining our commitment always to be the open and welcoming place this country has always been. That is the right thing to do. It is what we promised in our manifesto and, of course, we must deliver it.

We must think imaginatively about how we address the specific issues in Scotland, and we must do so in a non-partisan and constructive fashion. That is why I read the Scottish Government’s paper, “Migration: Helping Scotland Prosper”, from cover to cover, and I found very little with which I can disagree. It is a useful contribution to the wider debate about how we deal with immigration in this country.

This is an important debate, and it is one we must get right. However, I do not think a separate Scottish visa is the right way to go, because of all the complexities and challenges it would bring. I urge everyone in both of Scotland’s Governments to think imaginatively and to work together, as we should on quite a few issues, so that we can find a solution and prosper together, as the United Kingdom.