In its latest report on Immigration and Scotland, the Committee stated that Scotland’s population growth is dependent on inward migration and the ability to attract migrants is crucial for the nation.
Among its recommendations, the Committee called for students to be taken out of the net migration target and for the creation of a Scotland-specific post-study work scheme “in the absence of a UK-wide scheme.”
“They are part of our community, they have boosted our population, they have had their children here”
Similar points were raised at the UKCISA conference by Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
Answering The PIE‘s question, Swinney said that if the attitude towards immigration is not changed, there will “undoubtedly” be damaging economic consequences.
Looming Brexit could place a strain on free movement people from European Union countries who make up a large amount of the Scottish population, Swinney explained.
“They are part of our community, they have boosted our population, they have had their children here, they have boosted our birth rates, and for all they have done that has been a big strength for us,” Swinney told The PIE.
Swinney commented that the Westminster government is obsessed with numbers, immigration and surpluses, which causes a problem for Scottish intake of new talent.
“I hope… the cross-play of that damaging impact will encourage the UK government to think differently about this issue because of that and the current trajectory of that policy [is] very damaging for us but, I can assure you that there is lack of discussion and dialogue,” said Swinney.