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 report by the FSB.
The report also found that 40% of small businesses in Scotland employ at least one EU worker, compared to the UK average of 26%.
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”.
🔎 Boris Johnson’s immigration plan is morally wrong and economically illiterate.
— The SNP (@theSNP) February 23, 2020
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.”
🙈 When the Scot Gov proposed a Scottish Visa, Tories wouldn’t even consider it.
🙊 When the Tories revealed their damaging immigration plans, Tories wouldn’t even go on TV to defend it.
🏴 It’s the SNP that stands up for Scotland, the Tories only stand up for Boris Johnson. pic.twitter.com/J19zeDaVOm
— The SNP (@theSNP) February 20, 2020
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.”