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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sarwar’s Immigration Stance Harming Scotland

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The SNP has labelled Anas Sarwar’s flat out rejection of devolving immigration powers to Holyrood as “deeply disappointing”. 

Speaking on the BBC Sunday Show, Anas Sarwar confirmed his party would not push for the Scottish Parliament to hold the powers over immigration. 

Scotland faces an urgent demographic challenge, distinct from the rest of the UK – with an ageing population that is projected to fall 1.5% by 2045, while at the same time the UK population as a whole is expected to grow by almost 6%. 

Over the same period, it’s projected there will be a 22% fall in the number of children in Scotland and a 30% rise in the number of over 65s.

These population shifts will present significant challenges in terms of how we fund and deliver public services, requiring Scotland-specific solutions.

Commenting, SNP MSP Emma Harper said: 

“Scotland faces an urgent population challenge, distinct from the rest of the UK.

“This challenge is being exacerbated by a hostile Westminster migration system that does not account for Scotland’s specific needs and a hard Brexit that Scotland voted against, which brought an end to free movement. 

“Scotland’s ageing population is one of the biggest issues future generations will face, unless action is taken today.

“From our farms to our universities, immigration is a vital part of Scotland’s success and it is only going to be more important going forward in ensuring our businesses, especially in rural Scotland, have the skilled workers needed to sustainably grow our economy.

“It is deeply disappointing that Anas Sarwar is flatly rejecting the devolution of immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament.

“With both the Tories and Labour refusing to devolve the powers over migration that would enable us to take the actions needed here in Scotland, it’s clear that only with independence can we address Scotland’s urgent population challenges and protect our economy and public services.”

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