Consequential etc provision

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control) 3:00 pm, 26th February 2019

I wanted to speak briefly to these amendments. First, I note how unusual and exciting it is to be debating substantive provisions of immigration law. One of the key points that I make throughout this process is that this is a rare occurrence. We get to what would usually be shoved into immigration rules or a statement of changes; it is then passed through Parliament, and the Bill becomes law without anyone realising that it is happening—never mind having a chance to debate it. Perhaps we could even suggest amendments to the shadow Minister to improve his draft new clauses. I welcome what he has done in proposing substantive immigration policy in a way that allows MPs to come and have a say. Our take on what he has said about the SAWS and the evidence we heard from National Farmers Union Scotland was that the pilot scheme was not enough. We welcomed the pilot, but 2,500 places are not enough. I think that the number that was mentioned that would be sufficient was 10,000. That is against the background that National Farmers Union Scotland was also absolutely and clearly in favour of retaining the free movement of people.