Does Scotland need more population?

Brexit consequencesScotland wants its own visa system

Bleak prospects: the population in rural Scotland could shrink by a third in the coming decades. The current population of 5.4 million is at risk of aging and declining overall because the birth rate is extremely low. With Brexit, the influx of immigrants from other EU countries threatens to dry up. One reason for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, SNP, to ring the alarm bells.

"We are concerned that the end of the free movement of people and the UK government's proposed regulations to limit immigration will be very detrimental to our economies, prosperity, services and rural areas."

Scotland needs immigration. Therefore, according to the resolute Scottish head of government, Scotland also needs its own visa system.

Canada and Australia model

No minimum income limit, no obligation to provide evidence of an employer and not necessarily proof of special skills or knowledge: the application should be able to be submitted online.

"Since we as the Scottish government have control over income tax collection, we would use the Scottish tax number to issue the visas exclusively for Scotland. In Canada and Australia there are examples of a similar regionally differentiated approach."

This is to prevent Scotland from becoming the rest of Great Britain only for immigrants. The answer from London was not long in coming. The Scottish Government's proposal is absurd. Different approaches and interests collide. Scotland's Constitutional Minister Michael Russel:

"Whole sectors of the Scottish economy rely on EU labor. Fruit and grain growing in the east of Scotland, aquaculture and tourism in the west. The free movement of people has been positive, but these are neither the high-skilled nor the well-paid jobs that Boris does Johnson speaks. "

The Prime Minister has always spoken of a minimum income of £ 30,000 per year. In addition, Boris Johnson is aiming for a point system for immigrants according to three categories: highly qualified, urgently needed skilled workers who can provide evidence of a job, and a very limited number of unskilled workers - such as seasonal harvest workers.

Controversial demand figures

Charlie Adam is Vice President of the Scottish Farmers Association:

"We need 70,000 in Great Britain. For the test scheme after Brexit, there was initially talk of 2,500 seasonal workers, then 10,000. But the fact is that we need so many in Scotland alone."

Not only harvest workers are needed, but also workers in slaughterhouses, in tourism, staff in hospitals, in nursing, in the hotel and restaurant industry, where often nine out of ten employees are foreigners. The universities, too, want the immigration regulations to be relaxed, not tightened. The Rector of the University of Edinburgh, Peter Mathieson:

"Talents are welcome here. We celebrate immigration. Scotland should communicate this to the world. This is an opportunity. It would be good if that also resulted in a different immigration policy, but this is difficult at the moment."

Because the no from London is categorical. The latest move is certainly not the first by a Scottish government to have its own visa policy. Colin MacKay, reporter from the TV station STV.

Part of the Scottish strategy

"Scottish heads of government have been trying to get control of immigration for around 15 years. Jack McConnell of Labor was the first to launch his 'young talent' initiative to keep university graduates in the country. And that was rejected by a Labor government in London. "

The alienation of the parts of the country is by no means new. However, with Brexit and the Conservative Johnson administration, it is growing daily. The Scots feel increasingly marginalized. That strengthens the striving for independence. The strategy of the nationalists ruling with the Greens in Scotland is obvious: to increase the pressure with ever new initiatives such as the demand for its own visa policy so that sooner or later London approves a second independence referendum.