February 7, 2017 11:13:09 am
The Scottish parliament has called in a report to be given the control of its own separate immigration policy after Britain leaves the European Union, a media report said on Tuesday. A unanimous cross-party report, published on Monday on EU migration and EU citizens’rights, said that 181,000 EU nationals living in Scotland are experiencing “imposed uncertainty”, Xinhua news agency reported. They are not sure whether they would be able to continue living and working in Scotland. The British Ministers have said they are prioritising an immigration deal that works for the whole of Britain over any local visa arrangements. Joan McAlpine, member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), and convener of the Europe and External Relations Committee, said that 181,000 EU migrants in Scotland, and the Scots living in the EU, are effectively living in a state of limbo. It was unclear what would happen to them post-Brexit, he said.
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“EU migration has helped reverse a decline in the Scottish population, particularly amongst people of working age. A hard Brexit runs the risk of driving this valuable group of European citizens out of Scotland.
“That will have a devastating effect on the communities where EU citizens have made their home, businesses and key sectors of our economy,” McAlpine added.
“We’re therefore calling on the British and Scottish governments to identify a differentiated solution for immigration policy in Scotland after Brexit as soon as possible.”
The report, published by the Scottish parliament, said EU citizens who made their homes throughout Scotland should be allowed to remain and called on the British government to clarify their status without delay. The report warned that the demographic risks for Scotland of a reduction in the number of EU migrants were more acute than for Britain as a whole.
Lewis Macdonald MSP, deputy convener, said: “This report presents strong evidence of the risks facing key sectors of our economy, from agriculture to tourism without the continued access…to labour that EU citizens currently provide.”
Currently there are over 30,000 EU nationals employed in distribution, hotels and restaurants in Scotland and almost 20,000 in public administration, education and health. In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has already pressed for the British capital to be given a deal that allows it to issue its own London visas to European nationals after Britain leaves the EU.
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