SNP calls on UK Government to end “ideological obsession with a hard Brexit” over migration concerns
New report from National Records of Scotland reveals importance of migration to maintaining Scottish population
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The SNP has called on the UK Government to end their “ideological obsession with a hard Brexit” after a recent report highlighted the importance of migration in maintaining Scotland’s population.
The figures, published yesterday by the National Records of Scotland, revealed the number of people living in the country has risen to a record 5.4 million – a five percent rise over the last decade.
Natural change did not significantly contribute to population change, as over 32,000 more people arrived, rather than left, in Scotland last year.
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With the Home Office recently outlining plans to end free movement between the EU and UK by March 2019, business groups and opposition parties have called for clarity on the future of the immigration system.
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, convenor of Holyrood’s Europe Committee, said: “The Tories must put their house in order and end their ideological obsession with a catastrophic hard Brexit.
“They should acknowledge the contribution that EU migrants make to Scotland, and the UK, and secure continued freedom of movement after Brexit. Anything less would be disastrous for Scotland’s economy for decades to come.
“Scotland remains a highly attractive destination for young, ambitious Europeans and the SNP is determined that it remains so.”
Last week The Home Office commissioned a study from the Migration Advisory Committee on the effect of EU migration on the UK economy.
The research will assess if there would be benefits to focusing migration on high-skilled jobs and its impact on competitiveness.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “We will ensure we continue to attract those who benefit us economically, socially and culturally.
“But, at the same time, our new immigration system will give us control of the volume of people coming here - giving the public confidence we are applying our own rules on who we want to come to the UK and helping us to bring down net migration to sustainable levels.”
The NRS findings also showed that the number of pensioners is set to increase approximately 28 percent over the next 25 years, as the working age is set to rise by just 1 percent.
They warned this could have consequences for funding allocations, tax revenues, pensions, education, health and social care provision.
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Nicola Sturgeon is expected to call for an end to “damaging uncertainty” over the impact of leaving the EU on Scotland and the UK