Supporting people who want to live and work in Scotland.
Scotland would benefit from the creation of a migration system that could boost the economy and better meet the country’s needs according to a new paper on independence published by Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.
‘Migration to Scotland after independence’, the sixth paper in the Building a New Scotland series, sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals for how migration and asylum could work in an independent Scotland.
The proposals include new visa routes to make it easier for people to live, work, study and invest in Scotland, to support population growth in rural and island areas and key economic sectors such as tourism and hospitality.
Asylum and migration policy would also be overhauled from the current UK system, with people seeking asylum given the right to work and access employability services, to help integration and address key labour market shortages.
The paper also includes details on a simplified immigration system with lower fees and new public agencies to manage how migration and citizenship systems would operate, in line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to re-join the EU as an independent nation.
Ms Somerville said:
“Our future success as a country is dependent above all else on the people who live here, and we value all those who have chosen to settle in Scotland for their invaluable contribution to our society and economy.
“This paper published today sets out how, with independence, we could help ensure that success with a migration system specifically tailored to Scotland’s needs, to make it easier for more people to settle and integrate here.
“Scotland’s population is set to fall, unlike other UK nations, under current constitutional arrangements. This means fewer people working, paying taxes and contributing to public services like the NHS. Yet Scotland is subject to the UK Government’s hostile approach to immigration which is damaging our economy.
“Control of our own migration policy would enable us to replace that approach with a system that has dignity, fairness and respect at its core, recognising above all that this is about individuals and their families.
“It is these values that will determine an independent Scotland’s approach to migration and asylum policy – to benefit our country and the people who would call it home.”
The previous five papers have set out evidence showing independent countries comparable to Scotland are wealthier and fairer than the UK; how Scottish democracy can be renewed with independence; the macroeconomic framework, including currency arrangements, for an independent Scotland; how rights and equality could be at the heart of a written constitution developed by the people of Scotland; and how citizenship could work in an independent Scotland.
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