Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today said the Conservatives are “anti-business” after a new paper warned of the impacts of the UK Government’s immigration proposals.
The report from the independent Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population warns:
- The policies in the UK Government’s Immigration white paper would lead to a reduction in net migration to Scotland of between 30% and 50% over the coming two decades;
- Social care would be “severely affected” with existing labour shortages exacerbated, because no one in caring personal service occupations earns above the £30,000 salary threshold. There will also be significant impacts on areas such as textiles, leisure and travel;
- A declining working age population as a result of reductions in net migration will exacerbate the challenge of managing the consequences of an ageing society in Scotland;
- Restricted routes for EU immigration would be particularly disruptive for rural and remote areas of Scotland;
- The proposed changes will disproportionately affect women.
Willie Rennie said:
“The Conservatives are anti-business. They have spent years chasing the immigration bogeyman when the truth is that every part of the UK has overwhelmingly benefited from EU migration.
"Conservative immigration plans would bring chaos, not control. Scotland’s economy and services depend on immigration, from our farms to our NHS.
“Liberal Democrats will continue to demand better. We recognise the huge benefits of immigration and would fix the system so it works for everyone, not least by scrapping the Conservatives’ shameful hostile environment.”