How Tory immigration plans could shut 1 in 5 Scottish businesses

One in five small businesses in Scotland could close, or radically change their business model, due to difficulties in recruiting EU workers, according to a new report.

The report published today by the Federation of Small Businesses also found that 40% of small businesses in Scotland employ at least one EU worker, compared to the UK average of 26%.

Tory immigration plans have been criticised by the National Farmers Union Scotland, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Unison and many more.

The FSB have backed the SNP’s plans for a Scottish Visa system and a migration plan tailored to Scotland’s specific needs – branding Boris Johnson’s plan to slash the number of so-called “low-skilled workers” entering the UK as a “concerning prospect”.

Commenting on the report, SNP MSP Tom Arthur said: “This report lays bare the devastating impact the Tories’ immigration plans will have for business owners in Scotland.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it’s time for Boris Johnson to get his head out the sand and listen to their needs before it’s too late.

“It’s shameful that not a single Scottish Tory MSP or MP can bring themselves to speak out against these plans that will force thousands of businesses north of the border to close their doors for good.

“The clock is ticking, politicians from all sides need to back the SNP’s plans for a tailored migration system that works specifically for Scotland.”

FSB Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae said: “There are now more than 100,000 EU workers in employment in cities, towns and villages across the country. Needless to say, the imminent introduction of a new way of hiring workers from outside the UK is a concerning prospect.

“Against a backdrop of weak economic growth, a buoyant labour market and an ageing population, it’s critical that we get the post-Brexit immigration system right. The tight timescales mean there’s no margin for error. Getting it wrong risks business closures.”

Read more: 5 things you need to know about the Scottish Visa plan