For too long, the Westminster parties have spent their time squabbling about immigrants and refugees, while ignoring the real interests of the people of Scotland.
Their fixation with lowering migration levels, while ignoring the invaluable contributions immigrants make to this country’s economic security, has been to the detriment of Scotland.
Here’s why people make Scotland.
A strong economy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that migration to advanced economies actually has positive effect by boosting productivity.
It is a fact that in Scotland migrants contribute more to government revenue through taxes than they receive in public services:
The IMF concluded that “a 1 percentage point increase in the share of migrants in the adult population increases GDP per person in advanced economies by up to 2 percent in the longer term.”
This increase is even more notable when considering that with Scotland’s ageing demographics, we have a greater proportion of the population who become less economically active.
Without immigration to Scotland over the last ten years, Scotland’s population would actually have fallen. Instead, our population has grown and that means there are more economically active people in Scotland now than a decade ago.
One of the many benefits of migration is that this increased productivity supports our ageing population and can fill gaps in the labour market that would otherwise be left vacant.
A healthy influx of migrants doesn’t simply just result in higher productivity – greater GDP per person is reflected in the increased revenue that a government can collect to fund resource and infrastructure spending.
A welcoming nation
Westminster’s control of Scotland’s migration powers has been to the detriment of Scotland’s interests.
The Tories’ shameful plan to deport refugees to a far off nation with a tragic human rights record is currently being battled in the courts – but it is an indictment of the UK’s declining standing in the world that it has got even that far.
Labour has failed to stand against this despicable plan, instead drifting ever closer to the Tories in every policy area.
The SNP has been clear in its condemnation of the Tories’ Rwanda plot; it is not just inhumane, but is quite obviously a breakaway from our roles and responsibilities as an advanced economy.
Refugees are desperate people fleeing war and persecution, and Scotland has repeatedly voted for a more compassionate and welcoming approach.
Free of Westminster control, Scotland could tailor a refugee policy that suits the tolerant and caring worldview of Scottish voters, rather than a narrow and divisive policy dictated by the worst of Westminster’s politicking.
Scotland’s interests are being ignored
The Westminster parties, whether it be Tory, Labour or Liberal Democrats, are always happy to sacrifice common sense and decency in the name of political self-interest.
Scotland’s interests are failed by the hateful politics of those like Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
With independence, Scotland could choose an immigration system that bolsters and secures our economy while also delivering on our responsibilities as an advanced western democracy.
Scots have shown time and time again that they are not swayed by the politics of hate and fear that defines so much of Westminster’s policy making.
We can do so much better than this.