Scottish Visas

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

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

As Ms Sturgeon knows, the Home Secretary has a difficult job to do in managing the process of asylum and immigration into the United Kingdom as a whole. I resist commenting on his policies, but I am keen to ensure that the UK Government's asylum and immigration system is designed to benefit Scotland and its economy. That is why we are involved in discussions about some realistic and practical measures that can help us to turn round our population decline. We will continue to concentrate on those measures, but, in the meantime, once asylum seekers have been granted asylum, we will do what we have done successfully in the past three or four years: we will do all that we can to integrate them into Scottish society, including into work and productive activity.