POLITICS
19/08/2018 00:02 BST | Updated 20/08/2018 11:24 BST

SNP Demands Devolved Migration Powers For Scotland

The party claims the Home Office is "failing" the country.

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The Scottish National Party has once again demanded devolved migration powers for Scotland, accusing the Home Office of “failing” the country.

Calling for the authority to “create a migration system that values all that migrants have to offer”, the party slammed the Conservatives’ ‘hostile environment’ policy on immigration.

“The Home Office is failing Scotland – hurting industries such as the soft fruit sector and damaging public services such as our NHS,’ said SNP MSP Shona Robison. “And that’s before we’ve even felt the full impact of Brexit.”  

The move follows a series of high-profile immigration cases in Scotland – including that of Denzel Darku, a student nurse from Ghana threatened with deportation after serving in the Scottish Youth Parliament and carrying the Queen’s baton before the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

According to the SNP, the Home Office will no longer work with Scottish Parliament politicians on individual immigration cases, with the party alleging MSP Fulton MacGregor received a letter outlining the policy.

Slamming the supposed decision as “utterly shameful”, Robison called it a “clear effort to force people out of the country in their drive to meet senseless net migration targets”.

“If the Home Office don’t have the resources or the desire to speak to MSPs about cases we’ve brought to them, then they should give the Scottish Parliament full powers over migration – and allow us to handle it in a way that benefits our communities and support people who want to make Scotland their home,” she added.

Robison’s comments come two months after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “necessary and possible” for the country to be given the power to set its own immigration policy post-Brexit.

Last week, a new poll revealed Scottish Labour members would back a second referendum, while on Saturday a People’s Vote march in support of the proposal was held in Edinburgh.

The SNP leader said the government’s target of reducing net migration would “place a bigger burden on today’s young people” and increase the likelihood of “falling working population”, according to The Scotsman.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our immigration system is designed to work for the whole of the UK. We have no current plans to introduce a devolved immigration system.

“Scotland, as well as other devolved governments, have different ways available to encourage more individuals and families to move to their part of the UK.”