The Minimum Income Requirement is a blunt instrument which keeps families apart, job vacancies unfilled and the social and cultural benefits of immigration reduced.
The Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination Bill ends freedom of movement of people, despite the huge benefits it has brought to Scotland and the UK. Ending freedom of movement will be a disaster for Scotland and the SNP will oppose this Bill every step of the way.
The SNP will look at the possibility of amending the Bill to remove the Minimum Income Requirement, although we will will be constrained with House of Commons procedures in relation to which provisions of the Bill can be changed.
The political declaration confirms the UK Government’s intention to end free movement of people, which will see the people of Scotland lose the rights we have as EU citizens. It is a deal which will see us poorer, not just economically but socially.
Inward migration has made an overwhelmingly positive contribution to Scotland’s economy and society. This deal does not take account of Scotland’s distinct needs.
Scottish Government analysis suggests that, by 2040, Scotland’s population would decrease by 10,800 without migration. The retention of non-UK migration would reverse this to growth of 7,000 and, including those from rUK, 7,600.
Freedom of movement is vital to meet Scotland’s need for workers in sectors such as health and social care.