Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, on the 20th anniversary of the Scottish devolution referendum urged for Scotland to have more powers over immigration, employment and trade for the Parliament in Edinburgh.
Calling for a cross-party consensus, she asked members of other parties of Scotland to oppose the UK Conservative government’s ‘power grab’ over sectors such as farming and fishing that were returned to it after the vote on 11 September 1997.
Parties of Scotland such as Scottish Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens have been vocally against the determination of Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, to reduce net immigration. According to analysts and businesses, any reduction of immigration will adversely affect Scotland, population growth of which is lesser and houses fewer immigrants than other parts of Britain.
Ms Sturgeon was quoted by Financial Times as saying that the ‘ideological’ target could prove to be detrimental for their economy and society, and support was growing for Scotland to have a greater say in its immigration policy.
She was of the view that their country needs to extend a welcoming hand and have a warmer approach towards those seeking a better life or intending to contribute there. The Scottish government will over the next few months publish papers based on evidence to expand Holyrood’s powers over immigration, social security, employment and trade.
Although Sturgeon urged for more powers in her speech for Holyrood, she did not raise her past demands for total financial autonomy from the UK. As the Scotland’s notional government deficit is thrice the size of the UK in its entirety, greater financial devolution would mean economic austerity for it.
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