UK immigration policy is founded on “sheer prejudice” Alex Salmond, Minister for Scotland, told a gathering of International journalists in Edinburgh. Labour Party member Anum Qaisar described them to the same gathering as “anti-immigration and xenophobic”.
The SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland went on to promise “a very substantial change in immigration rules to work and study in an independent Scotland”. Asked specifically about immigration rules affecting Indian students, he said “We will look to restore and increase the number of Indian students in Scottish universities, which as you may know, has halved over the last four years as a result of the ridiculous restrictions being imposed by the Home Office”.
He continued “The Scottish Parliament… introduced the post-graduate work entitlement… students got automatic entitlement to work in the Scottish economy if they so chose. That was reversed by the Home Office in London, starting under the last Labour government… . Its the result of sheer prejudice, negativity and backward-looking policy from the Westminster government which we shall certainly reverse”.
cf the tone of pre-election immigration debate in the rest of the UK and Europe.