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Scottish Visa

– in the Scottish Parliament on 20th February 2020.

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Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

In light of the widespread criticism by Scottish industry and employers of the United Kingdom Government’s immigration proposals, will the First Minister outline what response UK ministers have made to proposals for a Scottish visa?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Shamefully, UK ministers have at this stage dismissed out of hand the constructive proposals that the Scottish Government has made on a Scottish visa. The proposals on immigration that were published yesterday are wrong in principle. They brand as low-skilled people who care for us in our care homes and hospitals, farm our land, process our fish, build our houses and look after our tourists in our restaurants and hotels, and imply that those people are not welcome here. That is shocking and shameful, and it should be opposed.

The UK Government’s proposals are also devastating for the future of our economy. Our demographics mean that we need to continue to attract people here, and those proposals will make it much harder. The proposals will make Scotland poorer in future. They are the biggest risk to our economic prosperity that we face. I read in the newspapers this morning that the Scottish Tories are “livid” about the proposals, and so they should be. However, rather than being quietly livid, should the Scottish Tories not be standing up for Scotland and doing something about it?