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MSP Ross warns of migration crisis

By David G Scott

CAITHNESS could face an economic and depopulation crisis if Westminster proposals to cut migration numbers go ahead.

That was the sentiment of north MSP Gail Ross as she backed calls for a devolved migration policy for Scotland, warning that the UK Government’s “hostile environment” for migrants could cause damage to the economy and public services.

Gail Ross MSP.
Gail Ross MSP.

She said: “We need migrants in Caithness and it’s vital that we continue to attract people to live and work here – to start businesses, work in our health service and teach in our schools.

“People from all over the world who choose to settle here make valuable contributions to our economy, public services and communities."

Mrs Ross, the SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, believes that the UK Government’s "anti-immigrant obsession and narrow-minded Brexit rhetoric" is driving people away from Scotland and "putting vital public services in Caithness on the line".

A report on Scotland’s Population Needs and Migration Policy warns that all of Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years is projected to come from migration, with more deaths projected than births in every year.

The Scottish Government claims that Westminster proposals to cut migration by tens of thousands would cost the Scottish economy up to £10 billion a year by 2040.

Without migration, Caithness could face a demographic crisis that could hammer public services like the NHS.

“The UK Government is failing Scotland – hurting industries such as the food and drink sector, and damaging public services such as our NHS. And that’s before we’ve even felt the full impact of Brexit," Mrs Ross said.

“The best solution to all these issues is for the Tories to devolve powers over migration to the Scottish Parliament – and give us the ability to create a migration system that works for Scotland, and secures the future prosperity of Caithness."

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