First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will continue to argue for more powers over immigration but has accepted unfettered control over Scotland’s borders is probably not possible. The Scottish Government’s demand for control over the post-study work visa was rejected by the Smith Commission on devolution. Sturgeon argued that the UK’s work visa policy is “a real area of frustration” for her government.
Sitting alongside Sturgeon was Edinburgh University principle Tim O’Shea who highlighted the issues facing foreign students in securing work visas after graduation. Some 41 per cent of Edinburgh University students are from outside the United Kingdom, but often are forced to leave the UK once their visas expire. This blog is all too aware of the issues facing foreign students who wish to stay and the hurdles put in front of them. The deportation threat hanging over of a friend and student who has started their own local business, plays a valuable role in their community as well as a long term Scottish partner was one of the many triggers for this blog appearing.
Sturgeon argued: “We have got a long and very well understood tradition of attracting some of the best people from around the world to come and study here, settle here and live here – as well as sending some of our best people to other parts of the world.” We are pleased a politician of Sturgeons profile is highlighting the opportunities that migration brings to Scotland but also gives to young Scots if they so wish to leave Scotland. We hope that the the current SNP government continues to make a positive case for migration levels to be increased to and from Scotland. As long as Scotland remains in the EU, Scots are free to move around other EU member countries. Our links in the Commonwealth also allows young Scots to move to Australia, Canada and New Zealand on a temporary two year working visas.
Sturgeon also attacked the “damaging and pejorative rhetoric” around immigration which is making the UK less attractive for students and workers.” From our experiences on the street on the lead up to the referendum it appeared that the ‘fear mongering’ that came from the No side about levels of migration to Scotland worked. We hope that those involved in the Yes campaign that remains in a position of power will be working hard to readdress this.
Source. The Scotsman.