Angus MacNeil, SNP candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, has echoed the First Minister’s call for Scotland to have an immigration system “fit for purpose and fit for Scotland’s needs”.

The Scottish Government has proposed that a Scottish visa should be introduced with the criteria and rules set in Scotland. The Scottish tax code is a current example of a residence-based framework within the UK. 

Regional immigration schemes operate successfully in other countries such as Australia and Canada. 

Commenting Angus MacNeil said: “Given depopulation and needs for labour in fisheries, Scotland needs to control migration and work visas so that our islands can become better off.

"Freedom of movement has enabled a number of people to come and make their homes here in the Islands and actively contribute to our communities, but we also know that is not enough.

"Currently, the UK Government allows five times more migration from the rest of the world than comes from EU Freedom of Movement, we just need to tailor this for Scotland and our islands. These people are crucial to our caring professions, to areas like our NHS, to tourism and of course fishing crews in our inshore waters, which the UK Gov has been working against.

“The SNP would prefer to see Scotland remain in Europe as voted for by more than 60% at the Brexit referendum.

“As the First Minister said, “leaving the EU, and ending freedom of movement, will not only be bad for our economy and our public services but will deprive Scots of our rights to live and work across Europe.”

 “No matter what happens with Brexit, we need a migration system fit for purpose and fit for Scotland’s needs."