5 things you need to know about the Scottish Visa plan

The Tories’ disastrous, draconian approach to migration is failing Scotland.

Instead of recognising Scotland’s unique demographic needs and doing what’s right for our economy and communities, Boris Johnson is ploughing ahead with his xenophobic agenda of slamming the door shut.

The Scottish Government has released its plans for a Scottish Visa – a tailored migration system for Scotland. Here’s what you need to know.

1) Hostile Tory migration policies are not working for Scotland

Boris Johnson’s proposals to cut migration are stifling economic growth, harming public services, and depriving Scotland of talented hard-working individuals who make an immense contribution to our society.

Scotland relies on migration to grow our population and fuel our economy – more so than anywhere else in the UK. What’s more, Scottish Government’s analysis recently revealed that each EU citizen working in Scotland generates an additional £10,000 in government revenue and adds £34,000 to GDP each year.

Our economy and communities are strengthened by people who choose to make Scotland their home, and we’re clear that Boris Johnson’s dogwhistle politics has no place in our society.

2) The Scottish Parliament has backed a tailored plan, supported by a wide range of experts

The SNP, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens – all parties in Holyrood except the Tories – have backed devolution of migration of powers to Holyrood. re is cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament for migration powers to be brought to Holyrood, after an overwhelming vote in favour of a tailored immigration system – one that respects Scotland’s interests, provides much-needed staff for our public services, and puts compassion and human dignity at its heart.

The cross-party consensus is reinforced by the backing of the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population, as well as a growing number of expert organisations including the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Federation of Small Business (FSB), and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).

3) We have a clear-cut plan for a tailored immigration system that delivers for our economy and public services

Scotland’s own immigration system would serve our needs much better than an out-of-touch system designed in Westminster.

The Scottish Government’s proposed Scottish Visa system would be an additional option alongside other UK visas post-Brexit, boosting Scotland’s economy, strengthening our public services, and reflecting our welcoming and open-minded culture.

The UK Government’s proposed policy of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands could damage Scotland’s economy by up to £10 billion per year by 2040. Simply put, Scotland cannot afford more of Westminster’s failed approach to migration.

4) Before the ink was even dry, the Tories rejected these plans without consideration

Westminster’s high-handed arrogance was on display again after Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, dismissed calls for the Scottish Visa on live TV without even understanding the proposals.

Tory Brexit and hostile immigration policies are set to to plunge Scotland’s working age population into decline, while inflicting serious damage to our public finances, public services and the economy.

Either the Tories are in complete denial about the widespread economic analysis of their migration plans, or are fully aware of the scale of damage they will unleash – without a shred of care for the consequences in Scotland.

What is clear is that by outrightly refusing to engage with the Scottish Government’s proposals, the Tories are failing Scotland and Scotland deserves better.

5) The only way to remain a welcoming country and protect our interests is with independence

We will continue fighting for full devolution of migration powers to Holyrood, but only with the powers of independence can we get rid of the Tory hostile environment once and for all.

As an independent country, we can halt the decline of Scotland’s working age population, become a destination in Europe, and assert ourselves as the welcoming country that’s proud of the contributions that migrants make to our society.

Support for a fresh independence referendum is on the rise, and recent polls have revealed that a majority of people in Scotland now back independence.

People in Scotland must have a choice over our future, so we can protect our economy and build an immigration system that serves Scotland’s interests – not those of Boris Johnson and his xenophobic ilk.