SNP MSP Tom Arthur has said the UK Tory government’s controversial points-based immigration risks “devastating local businesses” and causing long-term harm to public services in Renfrewshire South.

Unveiled earlier this week, Boris Johnson’s plan to block most European workers from entering the UK has come under fire from employers and industry leaders.

Reacting to the announcement, Chief Executive of Scottish Care, Donald Macaskill said the health and social care sector is faced with a “triple whammy”. Commenting, he said: “we are closing the door on people coming to live and work and contribute to the economy, we are losing staff because of the toxic rhetoric around immigration coming from certain political voices south of the Border, and we are unable to build the social care economy and innovate in the way we have the potential to because of the economic impacts of these political decisions. We have to encourage people to stay. We simply are a country that needs migrants. We need a distinctive solution.”

A cross-party report by Holyrood’s Finance Committee previously warned that demographic changes could pose risks to Scottish public spending, and our ability to fund the NHS, if Scotland does not have powers to grow our population.

Now, the MSP for Renfrewshire South has renewed calls for immigration powers to be handed to Holyrood – with the SNP’s proposals for a ‘Scottish Visa’ gaining the backing of a wide range of expert organisations.

Commenting, SNP MSP Tom Arthur said:

“Our local industries, public services and NHS here are in danger. You simply can’t trust Boris Johnson – his government’s proposals will cause catastrophic damage for businesses in Renfrewshire South and are completely out of touch with the needs of the Scottish economy.   

“Industry and employers across the country recognise that getting the migration system right is absolutely vital for the future. As Scotland’s population grows older, we need the power to attract and retain the workers we need to fund our public services, and allow our economy to flourish.

“This is the stark reality of the Tories’ Brexit Britain. It’s now absolutely vital that the political parties and industry leaders come together to back the SNP’s plans for a tailored migration system which works for Scotland.”

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