5th July 2016

Home Secretary Missing In Action: SNP MP Calls for Immigration to be Devolved to Scotland

Steven Paterson

SNP MP for Stirling, Steven Paterson, has called on the UK Government to devolve immigration to the Scottish Parliament, citing that the Scottish Government would “do the right thing” by EU nationals and protect their legal right to remain in Scotland.

The call comes after Home Secretary, and Conservative Leadership front runner, Theresa May said that she could not give assurances as to the status of EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit as these would form part of the UK’s negotiations with the EU. 

Critics from all parties have said that the UK Government is sovereign and can offer assurances, safeguarding their legal right to live and work in the UK.

In a parliamentary question to Home Office Minister, James Brokenshire, on Monday (4th July) Steven Paterson asked:

“Since this Government have shown themselves to be woefully inadequate in setting the right policy and doing the right thing by EU nationals, will the Minister consider devolving these powers to Scotland, which has a Government who can lead and will do the right thing?”

The Minister responded simply “No.”

Commenting, Steven Paterson said:

“The Home Secretary’s remarks, failing to offer assurances to EU nationals who have made homes amongst our communities, has done nothing to settle anxiety caused by uncertainty. A large number of EU nationals who live in my constituency have been in touch with my office seeking help and advice during what is a deeply troubling time for them. 

“With the Home Secretary now missing in action, she couldn’t even be held to account for her non commitment. 

“Our Scottish Government, in stark contrast, has shown real leadership since the result of the EU referendum, and devolving legislative power over immigration is something that the UK Government should seriously consider as high ranking Ministers seem far too busy chasing their own Prime Ministerial ambitions these days.”