Scottish Visas

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 22nd January 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 12:00 pm, 22nd January 2004

As I told the chamber two weeks ago, I have had a series of meetings on the situation that we face in Scotland with the Home Secretary, who is extremely supportive. We have a population that, on current projections, will drop below 5 million by 2010; a working-age population that will drop below 3 million by 2027; and a ratio of those who are not in work to those who are in work and paying taxes that will deteriorate between now and 2027 unless we take action to tackle the issue.

I am absolutely determined that we do all that we can not only to retain Scottish talent and Scottish people in Scotland and to encourage Scots to return home, but to encourage people from elsewhere in the United Kingdom to choose a better quality of life and to come and work in Scotland. I am also determined that we ensure that those such as overseas students, thousands of whom graduate from Scottish universities every year and who would like to stay, even for a short time, get a better chance to do so. I hope to make announcements on that to the Parliament soon.