Scottish members of parliament have called for Immigration matters to be devolved to Holyrood.
The call comes from the unique demographic needs of Scotland as opposed to England. Data shows that Scotland has an ageing population: in the next 25 years we can expect for the pension age population to increase by 25% whereas the working population may rise by only 1%.
This means that the impact of Brexit may have more severe repercussions on industries in Scotland than south of the border as figures show EU nationals average contribution to the Scottish economy at £34,400 a year.
Speaking during a debate on the issue, Europe Minister Alasdair Allan said: “Scotland’s demographic profile is simply different to the rest of the UK. “In Scotland our population growth over the next 10 years is expected to come entirely - 100% - from migration.
“This is a very significant divergence from the rest of the UK, and it is a divergence that we as a Parliament must address.” He added:
“It is simply impossible to overstate the critical role of migration in Scotland’s future growth and prosperity.”
Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw acknowledged “a significant increase in the working age population” was needed, however he said his party was not persuaded of the need for a bespoke migration system for Scotland, separate from the rest of the UK. He called for the Scottish Government to work with UK ministers to achieve a “migration policy that will meet our economic sectoral needs across the UK and preserve access to the most important UK single market”.
Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said:
“Brexit means that we need new answers to range of questions facing Scotland today, including a new approach to immigration that reflects the different needs and priorities of the nations and regions of the UK. “Addressing Scotland’s migration needs can indeed be done within the context of the United Kingdom without undermining either the UK single market or indeed a coherent UK immigration policy.”