Immigration

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FOR THE UNION FOR INDEPENDENCE
Increase in Immigration

The pro-union debate is backed by recent findings from the 2014 British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, which found that only 2% of Scotland’s voters desired an increase in immigration.[1] The Better Together campaign stresses the negative impact that an increase in numbers, such as that intended by the SNP, would have on Scotland’s public services, schools, and wages.[2]

Demographic Change

Further to this, the Westminster Government is critical of the SNP’s plans to increase immigrant numbers as a means of tackling the ageing population. It argues that the financial gain sought after by immigration will not be enough to cover the country’s deficit brought about by pensions.[3] In this case, and contrary to the pro-independence wish for larger numbers of highly-skilled foreign workers, Westminster warns Scotland may instead face large numbers of under-skilled migrants.[4]

Implications on CTA

The Government has similarly criticised the SNP’s intention to remain a part of the UK’s Common Travel Area (CTA), arguing that a drastic change to its immigration policies will render it impossible to uphold a free movement between Scotland and the rest of the UK.[5]

References

  1. British Social Attitudes survey, http://www.bsa-31.natcen.ac.uk/?_ga=1.50589996.403715227.1402931575
  2. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/24/scottish-independence-loosen-immigration-debate 24/4/14
  3. HM Government, Scotland Analysis: Borders and Citizenship, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/274477/scotland_analysis_borders_citizenship.pdf
  4. HM Government, Scotland Analysis: Borders and Citizenship, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/274477/scotland_analysis_borders_citizenship.pdf
  5. HM Government, Scotland Analysis: Borders and Citizenship, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/274477/scotland_analysis_borders_citizenship.pdf
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Increase in Immigration

The SNP wishes to increase Scotland’s current intake of immigrants to 24,000 per year.[1] This will be part of its plan to transform the country’s demographic, to include a younger and more skilled work force.[2] It also intends to introduce a new points-based system for applicants out-with the EU, new skill categories within which migrants will be placed, as well as a reintroduction of the post-study work visa - allowing foreign students to stay and work in the country.[3] The Scottish Government is dissatisfied with the current restrictions on immigration, which it claims are disadvantageous to its universities, ‘harming their ability to recruit and retain the brightest students and academics from around the world.’[4] The current policies in place at Westminster, largely focussed on capping the number of immigrants, as well as revoking the post-study work visa, are not in line with the SNP’s aims.[5]

Demographic Change

The pro-independence view is that the current policies in existence in the UK government do not adequately suit Scotland’s needs[6], which, with a different demographic and an ageing population, are unlike those of England, or the rest of the UK.[7]The Scottish Government will seek to attract younger skilled workers from abroad, that will offset the growing age of the working population.[8]

Implications on CTA

The SNP will seek to remain within the UK and Ireland’s Common Travel Area (CTA), allowing Scottish citizens to continue to live and work throughout the remainder of the UK, with no border checks between countries.[9] -

References

  1. http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-plan-to-increase-immigration-1-3425696 28/5/14
  2. Yesscotland.net/answers/what-about-immigration
  3. Yesscotland.net/answers/what-about-immigration
  4. Yesscotland.net/answers/what-about-immigration
  5. Chapter 7: Justice, Security, and Home Affairs, Scotland’s Future, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9348/11
  6. Chapter 7: Justice, Security, and Home Affairs, Scotland's Future, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9348/11
  7. Yesscotland.net/answers/what-about-immigration
  8. Chapter 7: Justice, Security, and Home Affairs, Scotland's Future, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9348/11
  9. Chapter 7: Justice, Security, and Home Affairs, Scotland’s Future, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9348/11