Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, has welcomed the publishing of ‘Citizenship in an independent Scotland’; a new Independence Paper from the Scottish Government which outlines what an independent Scotland’s vision for a fairer, inclusive and welcoming approach to citizenship would look like, and how this would be key in tackling population decline and growing the economy.

By adopting an inclusive approach to citizenship, as outlined in fifth paper in the SNP Government’s ‘Building a New Scotland’ series, more people would be able and attracted to live and work in Scotland and Renfrewshire South; boosting local and national economies and also Scotland’s population.  

The process would be modelled on the Irish citizenship system; allowing those born outwith the country after independence to be automatically entitled to Scottish citizenship, if one of their parents is a Scottish citizen.

The paper also includes proposals for a fairer fee system for citizenship applications and a commitment to establish an independent Migrants’ Commissioners, which was a key recommendation of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

This compassionate approach, centred on upholding human rights, is in stark contrast to the inhuman and not-fit-for-purpose immigration system championed by Westminster Tories, who’s Illegal Migration Bill has been heavily criticised for breaching legal obligations to refugees fleeing conflict.

Commenting, Tom Arthur said:

“Scotland and Renfrewshire South wants no part to play in the Tory government’s punitive and exclusionary approach to citizenship and immigration, and I welcome this new paper from the Scottish Government – which shows how we can use an inclusive approach to citizenship in an independent Scotland to grow our population and support our economies to thrive.

“Scotland is known globally for our welcoming people and hospitable traditions, so it’s only right that the approach of an independent Scotland to citizenship reflects this, and leaves no one with a rightful claim out in the cold. “From a hard Brexit they didn’t vote for to an austerity driven cost of living crisis, people in Scotland are paying a heavy price for being tied to the compassionless Westminster Tories, who’s unelected Lords and over privileged ministers have no place dictating Scotland’s democratic institution. It’s time to choose a better path with independence and build a welcoming and economically prosperous Scotland that leaves the light on for all.”

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