As next year’s referendum approaches and tensions between the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps increase, the need for greater details on an independent
policies is apparent. Scotland
One of the most hotly debated issues surrounding independence is immigration. Holyrood has for some time now been at odds with
latter’s seemingly relentless push to reduce net migration at whatever cost. Westminster
Caught up in this push are many cross-border families who are unable to meet the UK government’s stringent new family migration policies, which require the British sponsor to have an income of at least GBP 18,600 per annum to be able to bring a non-EEA spouse, child or adult dependant to the UK.
Such families will be among those keen to read further details of an independent Scottish government’s immigration policies, which are scheduled to be published in a November white paper on migration.
Early indications show homegrown Scottish immigration policies are likely to be more favourable to family migrants than
rules. Unlike Westminster ,
the Scottish National Party favours immigration. Westminster
Add to this Scotland has a low birthrate and a small population of just over five million, and it is easy to see why Scotland’s demographics have placed it at odds with Westminster’s goal to reduce net migration.
The rejection of the anti-immigrant message coming out of Westminster by the Scots, as seen in the unwelcoming reception UKIP leader Nigel Farage received when he traveled to Edinburgh earlier this year, can be seen as demonstrative of their acknowledgement of the need for migrants in Scotland.
Encouraging are the recent words of spokesman for Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf in a letter to the Clark family after Turkish national Jilda Clark was refused entry to the UK on the grounds she failed to provide sufficient evidence she could meet the spouse visa language requirements – a decision which was later overturned.
The letter stated Yousaf shared, “… anxieties over the
's current family migration
rules". Senior Policy Adviser to the Scottish government Ruth Steele also
wrote to the family, stating, "The Scottish government is very concerned
that the UK government's restrictions on family migration are having a very
damaging impact on many ordinary, hard-working UK citizens and their families”, as reported by the Herald Scotland. UK
Should we see an independent
Scotland, it is hoped it will be defined by fair
immigration policies which best suit Scotland’s
unique needs and that those policies will be less shortsighted and more
evidential-based than the current rules, which are tailored almost exclusively
to meet the immigration goals of Westminster
rather than .