Immigration is good for Scotland – we’ll always stand up for it

Last night, SNP MPs were united in voting against the UK Government’s Immigration Bill.

Unfortunately, the bill has passed, but it could have been defeated, had the 78 abstaining Labour MPs bothered to vote.

All 13 Scottish Tory MPs backed the Bill, in the knowledge that cutting immigration will harm Scotland.

The UK Government’s ideological, dogwhistle opposition to freedom of movement not only makes no economic sense, but also goes against our moral principles.

These proposals represent nothing less than an act of vandalism on the Scottish economy and public services.

They would stifle economic growth, harm businesses, and deprive us of talented hard-working individuals who make an immense contribution to our society.

The UK Government’s Immigration Bill goes fundamentally against the Scottish Government’s approach, which values immigration, passionately defends free movement, and aims to attract more people to Scotland.

We believe that immigration powers should be devolved to the Scottish Government, so that it’s in a position to design a system that addresses Scotland’s economic and demographic needs.

It would serve the needs of Scotland much better than a system designed in Westminster, and would aim to reflect our humanitarian, welcoming and open-minded culture.

As a result of Westminster’s attitude to immigration, our NHS and the care sector are struggling to recruit enough staff, fruit is being left to rot in the fields, and people who made Scotland their home are being made to feel unwelcome.

We’ve been loud and clear calling for the devolution of immigration policy to Scotland.

It’s time for Westminster to stop riding roughshod over Scotland’s interest, and start listening.