At a recent Scottish Tourism Alliance conference earlier this week Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Scottish First Minister discussed the UK Cabinet's post-Brexit approach to immigration with colleagues at the STA.
The UK Government has reportedly approved a new skills-based system which would see EU nationals facing the same immigration rules as people from other countries outside of the EU. This would require people coming to live and work in the UK meeting a salary threshold of £30,000 per year. Nicola Sturgeon stated that 'It...threatens to create a workforce crisis in sectors that are absolutely critical to the Scottish economy...under that approach it’s estimated that 75% of the EU nationals currently working in Scotland would have been ineligible to come here in the first place. It will therefore be incredibly difficult in the future to maintain and to expand the workforce on which our economy depends'.
Nicola Sturgeon then went on to state that the tourism industry will be one of the sectors most at risk and is therefore calling for the devolution of this policy, within the current immigration system. The Scottish Government has backed that call.
Andrew Campbell, Chair of the WTA endorsed this suggestion stating, 'Even though this is a Scottish First Minister, it could equally apply to Wales. This is not only a sensible suggestion, but necessary. Devolution of migration policy would enable Wales to choose for itself who was able to work in Tourism and other industries, especially as we struggle with a different set of economic circumstances than those over the border.'