Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has today said that "Scotland needs more people" as she pressed the Secretary of state for Scotland over her campaign to lift the ban on asylum seekers working.
Under current rules, people seeking asylum can only apply to work 12 months after submitting their claim, and only if they intend to fill a role on the Government’s very narrow ‘shortage occupation list’.
Ms Jardine is a co-sponsor of a cross party bill to be brought before Parliament today which would allow all asylum seekers the right to work after 6 months in the UK. She has also tabled her own legislation calling for change in the law earlier this year.
The Lib Dem MP said:
“Scotland has always been dependent on waves of immigration, and right now we need more people.
“Allowing asylum seekers the right to work would help ensure that we have a strong workforce to keep our economy buoyant, and maintain the socially cohesive society from which we all benefit.
“It would also help these people to escape poverty, rebuild their lives, and integrate with their communities.
“I was delighted that the Scotland Secretary was supportive of attracting more immigrants to Scotland today, and I was encouraged by his suggestion to take part in the immigration consultation.
“I now want to urge him to speak to his colleagues at the Home Office to highlight how beneficial this change would be for Scotland, so that we can get this into law”.