THE Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for the countries that make up Britain to be able to decide their
own policies on immigration strategy, starting with Scotland.
The think tank says that Scots have “a more relaxed attitude” towards immigration than other areas of Britain and that, with an ageing population and low economic growth, immigrant workers could help boost Scotland’s economy.
The IPPR has produced a report outlining how immigration could be devolved to Scotland and other parts of Britain.
The paper says that the current Britain-wide immigration strategy “lacks a strategic mission.”
“A devolved immigration system with policy made in Scotland, to benefit Scotland, could help to stimulate the Scottish economy attracting skilled workers from outside of the UK,” says the report.
IPPR Scotland director Russell Gunson said: “Devolving immigration could allow areas in the UK to be much more responsive to their local economic needs and public opinion, improving integration, trust and ensuring consent for immigration.”
Labour MSP Neil Findlay told the Star that “a much more pragmatic approach to immigration” is needed across Britain.
“We want to ensure that people who want to come and live in the UK can help meet the skills needs of the economy while not being exploited by unscrupulous employers,” he said.
“This will mean that Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and some of the English regions will need flexibility to address local needs. That would be a common sense move.”