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Post-Brexit immigration proposals may have considerable impact on Scotland, expert panel finds

The report was launched by Migration Minister Ben Macpherson (centre)
"The report examines how the proposed changes would impact the scale and composition of future migration flows and looks at the potential effects for the labour market, population trends, tax revenues and public services, as well as impacts on local communities"

A report published by the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population has shown that post-Brexit migration policy proposals put forward by the UK Government are likely to increase the demographic challenges faced by Scotland’s sparsely populated rural areas.

The advisory group, chaired by Professor Christina Boswell of the University of Edinburgh and including Dr Andrew Copus, of the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group, was asked to give independent expert advice to the Scottish Government on migration, population growth and demographic change.

The report reveals UK Government proposals would reduce migration to Scotland by up to 50 per cent, with serious consequences for the economy, public services and future population growth.

The advisory group also highlighted the impact of the UK Government’s proposed salary threshold, under which people earning less than £30,000 would not be allowed admittance to the UK.

The group estimated 63 per cent of workers in Scotland currently earn below that level, and that it would exclude a greater proportion of women than men as well as younger people at the start of their career.

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Scottish Government’s Migration Minister, Ben Macpherson, said: “This independent report raises additional concerns about the effect UK Government immigration proposals will have on Scotland’s rural and suburban areas and demographics. The findings also reinforce the case for creating fair, tailor-made immigration solutions for Scotland that value all skills, work for businesses and support the delivery of public services across the country.”

Professor Christina Boswell added: “As the UK Government elaborates its proposals for immigration policy after Brexit, it is vital that we understand the effects of changes to migration on Scotland’s economy and society. Our report examines how the proposed changes would impact the scale and composition of future migration flows and looks at the potential effects for the labour market, population trends, tax revenues and public services, as well as impacts on local communities.”

In the context of the wider analysis carried out by the panel, the James Hutton Institute contribution focussed on the demographic impacts of UK immigration proposals on different parts of Scotland.

Dr Andrew Copus said: “Although EEA migrant numbers are relatively small in the remote and island areas, they are likely to be reduced to close to zero because of the proposed £30,000 salary threshold for Tier 2 visas.

“Keeping in mind the fact that overseas migrants are generally much younger than those from other parts of Scotland or the rest of the UK, the loss of even such small numbers is not to be dismissed lightly. In fact, given that such areas have an age structure which means that without substantial in-migration of younger people numbers will inevitably spiral downwards and the change in migration policy may have substantial unintended consequences for remote and sparsely populated areas.”

The Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population full report is available at the Scottish Government website, and more information about the James Hutton Institute’s research on the subject is available on our Demographic Change in Remote Areas page.

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Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/post-brexit-immigration-proposals-may-have-considerable-impact-scotland-expert-panel-finds on 16/06/19 03:37:39 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.