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Results 61–80 of 337 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Immigration Discussions) (21 May 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I have met the United Kingdom Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes, twice to discuss the profoundly positive impact that migration has on Scotland’s economy and society, and there have been several other meetings between Scottish Government ministers and UK ministers to emphasise that, including between the First Minister and the Prime Minister. Migration is crucial to...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Immigration Discussions) (21 May 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Yes. As Stewart Stevenson, the CBI and other business organisations have emphasised, the UK Government’s proposals in its white paper on immigration would be catastrophic for Scotland. They would send our working-age population into decline and would have a significantly negative effect on many sectors, including those that have been mentioned by Stewart Stevenson, as well as social care,...

Scottish Parliament: Rwandan Genocide (25th Anniversary) (2 May 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I thank all members who have spoken in today’s debate on the 25th anniversary commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, which has been remarkably moving. I particularly thank Iain Gray for securing the debate and for his incredibly moving and powerful opening speech. On 7 April, Rwanda began its period of 100 days of mourning to commemorate the 1994 genocide. “Kwibuka”...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Settlement Scheme (7 Mar 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I, too, congratulate Annabelle Ewing on securing this incredibly important debate. I say so with regret, however, because Scotland is a remarkable outward-looking and welcoming European country, and we should not have to have this debate. My message to EU citizens, as it has been from the majority of members who have spoken, is this: “Scotland is your home. You will always be welcome here....

Scottish Parliament: European Union Settlement Scheme (7 Mar 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I thank Emma Harper for that question. The seasonal agricultural workers scheme is useful in some ways, but it is inadequate and will not be a substitute for freedom of movement. That is why the Scottish Government is pressing the UK Government to rethink its white paper proposals on immigration. We are also putting forward proposals for flexibility for devolution within in a UK framework, in...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Settlement Scheme (7 Mar 2019)

Ben Macpherson: My understanding is that the matter became a live issue in the negotiations only because it was one of the Prime Minister’s red lines. If the UK Government had shown leadership—ethical leadership, in particular—by securing the rights of EU citizens, she could have encouraged the remaining EU27 to do the same. That should have been done years ago; it is certainly something that we would...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: In October 2018, I established an expert advisory group on migration and population. I asked it to review UK Government proposals for immigration policy after leaving the EU and to advise on the impact that such proposals might have on areas of devolved responsibility in Scotland—the health of the Scottish economy, the delivery of our public services and the sustainability of our...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I welcome the open-mindedness that was expressed in some of that question. However, the report shows very starkly that although we are interested in being attractive and supporting the needs of business in the Scottish economy, proposed UK immigration policy after Brexit will have exactly the opposite effect. The expert advisory group concludes that there will be a 30 to 50 per cent reduction...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I thank Claire Baker very much for the tone of her question. I agree that the conclusions of the expert advisory group make it clear that Scotland faces acute and more pronounced demographic challenges, which we must consider along with the potential economic repercussions of the removal of freedom of movement and the implications of the UK Government’s white paper. Those implications are...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: One of the benefits of free movement has been the positive impact that it has had on family migration to Scotland. Through a robust academic analysis, the report of the expert advisory group rightly highlights—this is borne out by my anecdotal experience—the positive impact that the migration of families from elsewhere in the EU under freedom of movement has had on the age profile of our...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I would not want to speak on behalf of the Scottish Conservatives. I have engaged across all sectors in Scotland, including the business, third and public sectors. The people of Scotland understand the negative consequences of the UK Government’s proposals, as do many people across the UK. Although the white paper proposals will have a negative impact on many parts of the UK, the expert...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: As I said, the expert advisory group estimated in its report that 63 per cent of workers in Scotland earn below the proposed £30,000 threshold. If the UK Government introduced such a threshold, that would dramatically constrain the ability of Scotland’s employers in many sectors, including the agriculture, tourism and social care sectors, to access the skills and labour that they need....

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Given that this Government believes in freedom of movement, I would, in the first instance, want to consider whether a salary threshold was necessary at all. The expert advisory group’s analysis and conclusions clearly state the need for us to be able to attract more people, the risk of the UK Government’s immigration policy making us less attractive—or, in fact, unattractive—and the...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: According to the Scottish Government’s analysis, each additional EU worker in Scotland adds, on average, £30,400 to GDP and contributes £10,400 to Government revenue. In the evidence that it gathered and submitted to the UK Government, the MAC showed that migrants pay more in to the public purse than they take out in benefits or services, and the report that we are discussing today...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: As I have said, I am looking to work cross-party in a solution-focused manner and to consider all the aspects that we can look at together. However, we need to be careful about thinking that people might be motivated by changes to the tax system, if the message that they are hearing is that they are not welcome in the UK and that it will be bureaucratic and costly for people to come here to...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I absolutely agree with that sentiment. We cannot judge the social and economic value of an individual according to their earnings. This Government believes in the value of all skills, and the Scottish economy and public service provision benefit from all skills. That is why freedom of movement has been so beneficial—it has allowed us to bring people here to fill jobs across sectors and...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Restricted routes for EU immigration will put significant strain on our ability to attract individuals. We welcome an increase in the number of people from beyond the EU, but we disagree with the Prime Minister’s stated ambition to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands and to create a hostile environment. The analysis in the expert advisory group report that was published today shows...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Having been to the north-east to visit Macduff Shellfish and Camphill, which provides social care, I have seen at first hand the positive difference that EU immigration has made to the economy and society there. Unfortunately, whether it is the Migration Advisory Committee report or the UK Government white paper, UK Government policy making has not catered for the nuances and the differences...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: We want to attract people to come here who make personal choices about whether they want to come here. The challenge for Scotland is to continue to be attractive and to give people who come here a positive experience of living here, whether they continue to live here or do so temporarily. Global trends of migration impacts on countries are a wider geopolitical question. We need to think about...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Exit (Impact of United Kingdom Immigration Policy) (28 Feb 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Yes—absolutely. Ministers and officials have relayed those concerns directly to the UK Government; Mr Russell did that most recently at the joint ministerial committee on EU negotiations, and the Deputy First Minister has engaged with the sector on the issue. I will raise the matter again next month when I meet the Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes. The example shows exactly...


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