More Scottish Border Control Chat

Independent Scotland would need 20,000 more immigrants annually than present rates to pay the pensions of Scotland’s ageing population without tax increases, according to the Scotland Institute.

SI accuses the Yes campaign of significantly underestimating the scale of the problem (Alex Salmond’s stated estimate of only 2,000 was mentioned in yesterdays post below). Immigration is set to become a highly contentious issue between England/Wales and Independent Scotland and tough restrictions on border crossing are likely to be necessary.

These calculations are complicated and based on the estimates of size of North Sea oil reserves and overall economic performance of Scotland amongst many unknowns.

The think tanks’s figures would amount to an increase of Scotland’s population of up to 8% in the next 20 years. Scotland Institute Azeem Ibrahim said “This means that an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK will find that they need hugely different immigration policies. And that raises the spectre of the unthinkable: the rest of the UK may not be able or wiling to support a Common Travel Area policy with Scotland as currently exists between UK and Ireland”.

Alex Salmond’s far lower figures have been much criticised- the Scottish Conservative finance spokesman has accused him of “pulling figures out of thin air”

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

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Hadrian’s Army?                                  thanks KarenMiller

UK Immigration Policy: “Sheer Prejudice” and “xenophobic”

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.

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers