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I agree wholeheartedly with my hon. Friend: we cannot put a price on the care that people get.
To return to the expert advisory group report, it said that in the social care example, reduced migration could adversely affect female family members who themselves are most likely to exit the labour market to cover gaps in care provision that would have otherwise been delivered by a migrant workforce.
In the last Parliament my hon. Friend Brendan O'Hara lobbied the UK Government to evaluate the effects of EU withdrawal on the health and social care sectors through his private Member’s Bill. No fewer than 102 third sector organisations, trade unions and charities have publicly supported the measures in the Bill, and more recently the UK Government have made it clear that they will not commit to aligning with EU standards or accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Addressing the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, Cabinet Secretary for the constitution, Michael Russell, said:
“this would result in new barriers to trade and exports, a fall in national income compared to EU membership and damage to social care and the NHS.”
The SNP Scottish Government will be introducing a new continuity Bill to the Scottish Parliament soon, which would make it easier to align with future EU standards in such areas as the environment and human rights.