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21 July 2020

UK Govt's Immigration Plans Fail to Address North-East's Needs

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has expressed concern that the UK Government’s announcement on its plans for a new immigration system when freedom of movement with the EU ends in January will create problems for businesses and key sectors which rely on migrant labour.

Mr Stevenson commented:

“The UK Government’s proposed salary thresholds ignore Scotland’s needs with 53% of roles earning less than £25,000, and up to 90% in the care sector as outlined in the expert Advisory Group report.

“This is simply storing up trouble for further down the line so the Conservative UK Government can push ahead with its flawed plans for regulation after we leave the EU.

“We already know how much the North-east economy relies on people who have settled here from overseas, work hard and contribute their taxes from their employment in the likes of the care sector, the NHS, or our local food processing factories. I simply cannot understand why the Tories are determined to undermine the local economy in such a cavalier fashion.”

Scottish Government Migration Minister Ben Macpherson MSP said:

“The UK Government’s new immigration policy plans fail to address Scotland’s distinct demographic and economic needs, and completely disregard key sectors that we have relied upon during this health pandemic, including our valued social care workers.

“Despite repeated warnings from the Scottish Government, experts, businesses and representative organisations about the damage their plans would inflict on Scotland, the UK Government has ignored the evidence and plans to push ahead regardless.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our economy and it is vital that any future immigration system adequately addresses our future needs as a society. As we face the biggest economic crisis in decades, I urge the UK Government to meet with Devolved Administrations to ensure their proposals can be adapted to work for us all.”

Stewart Stevenson
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