Call to review UK immigration target

11 Jul 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee have urged the government to review the target of cutting UK immigration to tens of thousands.

In a new report, the committee has revealed that cutting this target could result in a negative impact on population growth and the economy in Scotland. However, the Home Office argues that the public is in favour of lower immigration in Britain, citing the Brexit vote as evidence for this.

Despite this, committee chairman Pete Wishart has stated that the current UK immigration system is failing to meet Scotland’s needs. This mirrors comments from Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who has stated that the target “does not fit the requirements of the country.”

The goal of cutting net migration was first set by David Cameron in 2010. The target has not been met and current annual net migration stands at around 244,000.

According to the committee, this is good news for Scotland, which expects to be dependent on inward migration in the near future as a result of ageing workers and a rapidly decreased working-age population.

Mr Wishart says: "The current visa system for non-EU worker is complicated and bureaucratic and the way the current net migration target is enforced benefits London to the expense of the rest of the country.

"Scotland's future population growth is entirely dependent on continued inward migration and it appears that Scotland's needs are not being fully met under the current system."