Sturgeon SILENCED: SNP’s Scottish visa plan ripped apart – ‘Unworkable!’
Murdo Fraser hit out at Scotland’s First Minister for making the suggestion, accusing her of using any issue at all to swing a “constitutional battering ram” at the UK government. The Scottish Tories’ spokesman on finance said Scotland did not need a different visa system because officials would exercise flexibility when assessing immigration applications depending on the demand for overseas workers in different parts of Britain. Ms Sturgeon’s call for immigration powers to be devolved to Holyrood were rejected by Boris Johnson, who branded her vision “absolutely fanciful and deranged”.
Mr Fraser argued that the UK-wide immigration system proposed by the Prime Minister was the only realistic option for the UK after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31 2020.
He told Express.co.uk: “What the Prime Minister has said is immigration for the UK will take account of the different parts of the UK.
“And there could be some flexibility shown.”
He said the government’s plan would ensure the Scottish economy is fully supported.
He insisted that having different visa rules in Scotland would be “inconsistent with having a single UK state” and would be “unworkable in practice”.
He cited Scotland’s need for foreign workers to keep its fruit picking and packing sector running smoothly as a prime example of how the need for immigrants varies from region to region.
Earlier this week, the SNP published a lengthy explanation behind their visa plan, claiming the “Tories’ disastrous, draconian approach to migration is failing Scotland.”
The Scottish National Party (SNP) said the Prime Minister’s plan to introduce an Australian-style points system would have punishing effects on Scotland’s economy.
In a statement, the party said: “Scotland’s own immigration system would serve our needs much better than an out-of-touch system designed in Westminster.
“The Scottish Government’s proposed Scottish visa system would be an additional option alongside other UK visas post-Brexit, boosting Scotland’s economy, strengthening our public services, and reflecting our welcoming and open-minded culture.”
Ms Sturgeon’s group said the Tories’s “hostile immigration polices” would “plunge Scotland’s working age population into decline”.
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But Mr Fraser said the First Minister’s clash with Mr Johnson was part of a recurring trend.
“Its all part of the SNP approach – the approach that everything is used as a constitutional battering ram,” he said.
“Every case they try to pick a fight with the UK government, they try to argue that these poses need to be passed down to Scotland.”
Mr Murdo accused Ms Sturgeon and her group of waging “independence and constitutional battles with Westminster” for any reason rather than concentrate on sorting out the problems in Scotland.
Rejecting the SNP’s plan, Mr Johnson said he had “every sympathy with the businesses and industries of Scotland that need to allow workers to come freely”.
He reminded the Scottish nationalists that the Tories have doubled the seasonal agricultural worker scheme.
Over the last two decades soft fruit production in the UK has grown by a massive 130 percent.
The SNP said the Prime Minister had not properly read through their proposals before slapping them down.
The party has also used the clash as extra fuel in their drive for independence.
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