A CROSS-PARTY group of MPs yesterday called for greater powers over immigration to be devolved to Scotland as the current system has “led to friction” between Holyrood and Westminster.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration — chaired by Labour MP Chuka Umunna — said a commission should be set up to investigate how a devolved system could work.
Immigration is currently the sole responsibility of Westminster, although the “shortage occupation list” allows Scottish firms to offer particular jobs to non-EU nationals without advertising them first domestically.
The APPG said immigration is crucial for filling gaps in the labour market left by an ageing population.
Its report suggested that new arrivals from abroad should be encouraged to move to areas that do not typically attract high numbers of migrants to support the existing communities, such as Scotland.
Greater control over immigration has been a key demand of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following the Brexit vote, but the Home Office insists it has no plans to introduce devolved immigration arrangements.