February 8, 2005


Immigration U-turn rocks McConnell's bid to attract 'fresh talent' into Scotland (HAMISH MACDONELL AND GERRI PEEV, 2/08/05, The Scotsman)

JACK McConnell’s plans to reverse the country’s population decline suffered a body- blow yesterday when the UK government unveiled tough new restrictions on migrants - without any concessions for Scotland.

The First Minister has championed a series of initiatives to help attract new, skilled migrants to Scotland.

He is aware that the country faces a crisis unless the current fall in the number of Scots of working age is addressed soon.

However, his "Fresh Talent" initiative needs the help of the UK government and Mr McConnell has been lobbying the Home Office for months to come up with an immigration policy that would provide incentives for skilled migrants to come to Scotland.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, announced the government’s new approach to immigration in the House of Commons.

And while he conceded in his speech that population decline was a major problem for Scotland, his new policy will not provide any flexibility to allow the Executive to encourage migrants to settle north of the Border.

The island nations have a realistic choice of simply dying off rather than allowing the immigration that will swamp the continent. Not much of a choice though, is it?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2005 10:09 AM

There's a third option: they could work harder at bringing more little Scotsmen into the world. It's more fun than the other two.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 8, 2005 1:13 PM

In the United States the natives that are having babies are the natives that don't live near immigrants.

Posted by: carter at February 8, 2005 2:08 PM