An opinion poll commissioned by the Scottish Green MSPs has indicated two-thirds of people in Scotland want to see control of immigration policy devolved from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.
The Survation poll of 1,000 people in Scotland recorded 66% who agreed immigration should be devolved, with only 20% opposed. Even 41% of people who said they were voting No in this September’s independence referendum said they believe immigration powers should rest at Holyrood.
Alison Johnstone MSP, a member of Holyrood’s economy committee, said there is “a huge economic opportunity for Scotland if we have control over immigration policy”.
She said a “more welcoming policy” could provide a boost to Scotland’s digital technology, tourism, renewables, science, and food sectors by giving Scotland “a better chance of addressing any skills shortages, in turn generating tax revenue to support public services”.
Johnstone also hit out at devolution proposals from UK parties, telling journalists: “In recent days Gordon Brown, Menzies Campbell, David Cameron and Johann Lamont have failed to address the need to give Scotland control over how it welcomes the world. It’s clear to me the only option on the table that will deliver the approach we need is a Yes vote in September.”
Earlier this week, Scottish Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie MSP described Labour’s devolution proposals – which did not include immigration powers – as “a massive failure to seize the opportunity the referendum presents”.
His party campaigns for independence on a non-nationalist platform as part of Yes Scotland.