Scotland should attract more young people to stay rather than demand high immigration

Scotland should attract more young people to stay rather than demand high immigration

May 06, 2021

Scotland has seen one of the starkest impacts of immigration in the UK - with a nearly 200% rise in the overseas-born population since 2001 (the highest in the UK compared to any other devolved nation or English region).

This contrasts with rises of around 150% in Wales, Northern Ireland and the East Midlands. The fastest recent percentage growth in the immigrant population is in areas with previously small foreign-born populations.

A new Migration Watch UK paper being issued today (MW491 - Scotland and Immigration) looks at the impact of immigration in Scotland and concludes that politicians in London and Edinburgh should do much more to attract young people to remain there after graduating rather than encouraging high immigration levels to which most Scots are opposed.

The paper shows that net migration to Scotland from overseas nearly tripled between 2018 and 2019 - rising from 10,000 in 2018 to 28,000 in 2019.

Scotland's foreign-born population has tripled since 2001 while the percentage of children born to non-UK born mothers has reached 36% in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

The high immigration levels of recent years run counter to the firm views of a clear majority of Scottish opinion.

A much better way forward would be to encourage more of the 40,000 people who depart every year for other parts of the UK to remain.

This could be done by encouraging better training, more job opportunities and higher wages. Greater incentives for young people to stay and start families are also required.


Questions must be asked as to why people are struggling to get on the property ladder, find sustainable and secure jobs and gain the financial freedom to start a family.

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

The Scots are famous for their sound common sense. They will not fall for the propaganda of the immigration industry. Demands for devolved immigration powers are simply a red herring. 

Using mass immigration as a band-aid to cover weaknesses in economic policy flies in the face of what most Scots want.


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