SNP MSP, Christina McKelvie, has said the UK government’s proposals on immigration, published today, will damage Scotland’s economy, communities, NHS and public services, including within her own constituency of Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

The Tories plan to introduce a £30,000-a-year minimum salary threshold for EU nationals, promising to cut net migration to the UK to ‘tens of thousands’.

The UK government’s proposals could result in an 85% reduction in the number of EEA workers to Scotland – with Scottish Government modelling suggesting a fall of almost £6.8 billion a year in GDP by 2040 as a result of the Tories plans.

It is anticipated that the NHS and care sector in South Lanarkshire will be among the worst hit by the proposals, with the tourism and hospitality industries also suffering.  

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has also demanded an urgent rethink of the plans. Andrew McRae the FSB’s Scotland Policy Chair commented, “these proposals will make it nigh impossible for the vast majority of Scottish firms to access any non-UK labour and the skills they need to grow and sustain their operations.”

The SNP has repeatedly called on the UK government to fully devolve immigration powers so that the Scottish Government can bring forward a progressive approach that addresses Scotland's specific demographic and economic needs.

Commenting, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:

“Our NHS and care sector here in Hamilton, Larkhall and SStonehouse is in danger. These Tory proposals will cause catastrophic damage for our public services – it is absolutely vital that we continue to attract people to live and work here.

“Tory plans on immigration will also devastate local businesses, with a £30,000 salary threshold on EU migrants slashing the workforce available to Scottish firms.

“Comments today from the Federation of Small Businesses demonstrate the growing support from organisations in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse and across Scotland, for a tailored migration system for Scotland.  

“The SNP has repeatedly made the case for a tailored approach to immigration in Scotland in order to address its distinct needs. If the UK government are intent on implementing their damaging post-Brexit immigration plans, then the Scottish Parliament must be handed control of migration powers to protect Scotland's specific interests.”