The SNP has slammed the Scottish Tories’ “unforgivable” decision to back the disastrous Immigration Bill in the Commons, causing untold damage to Scotland’s public services and economy.
SNP shadow Immigration Minister Stuart McDonald MP (pictured), who previously branded the Bill “draconian” and “ideologically-driven”, said Scottish Conservative MPs had made an unforgivable decision, putting Conservative party unity over Scotland’s immigration needs.
The majority of Scotland’s population growth is due to come from migration.
Any attempts to cutting immigration back could plunge Scotland’s working-age population into decline – hitting GDP, tax revenues, and causing staffing shortages in public services and across key sectors.
Stuart McDonald MP said:
“The Scottish Tories, who have tied their colours to the mast of a deeply damaging Immigration Bill, have proven they are obsessed with arbitrary caps on salary while completely ignoring than the specific migration needs of the UK’s nations and regions.
“The damage this Bill will cause to Scotland is unprecedented, yet Scottish Tory MPs once again put Conservative party unity over Scotland’s needs, gambling with the future of our nation’s population growth.
“They have given no credence to the serious concerns raised by devolved governments, unions and employers, nor the pressing demand for seasonal workers in our food production sector, employees in our world-renowned hospitality sector and the hard-working doctors, nurses and carers in our NHS.
“Their disastrous decision to follow Boris Johnson through the virtual voting lobby, imposing huge economic hardship on Scotland, is unforgivable.
“Their credibility has been completely undermined and they should be embarrassed over the damage they have inflicted on their own constituencies, particularly in rural areas.
“At the same time, many EU citizens already living in the UK risk losing their rights, and the innumerable problems at the door of the Home Office resulting from the coronavirus crisis remain unaddressed and unresolved.
“This is a desperately disappointing day for all of us.
“Scotland needs the devolution of immigration powers, to allow for a tailored system suited to Scotland’s specific needs.
“Successive governments have failed Scotland over decades on immigration policy, but this is one of the biggest disasters in modern times.”