Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Sturgeon aims to boost immigration to Scotland

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sits on stage at the Scottish National Party conference in Aberdeen Scotland Britain Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sits on stage at the Scottish National Party conference in Aberdeen Scotland Thomson Reuters
Jeannette Daniel | 12 June, 2018, 14:42

The British government has said it will not devolve powers over immigration to Scotland, but pressure to abandon unrealistic targets to limit immigration has been coming from many sides, including British businesses and from the ruling Conservative party's own ranks.

"As we wait for the fog of Brexit to clear, our opportunity - indeed, our responsibility - is this: Not just to focus on the "when" of independence".

She said they should use their "energy and passion to persuade those who still ask 'why?'"

"Right now, that is the more important task".

Scotland voted by 62 per cent to remain in the European Union in a 2016 referendum, generating a rift because the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave.

As a result she said a nurse with five years' experience in Band 5 would be £430 better off, a healthcare assistance at the top of Band 3 would receive £630 more than someone of the same level in England, and an auxiliary nurse with just one year's experience could earn more than £830 more by working in NHS Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: "I don't think Boris Johnson should be anywhere near a government office".

"And as our precious NHS reaches its 70th birthday it comes with our grateful thanks for all that they do".

£21 million in new student support funding, which includes £16 million for new college bursaries from people from low-income families, a bursary for students who have come through the care system and raising the threshold for paying back student loans to incomes of £25,000 and above from 2021.

More news: Saturday rain showers and storms linger through the weekend

"It takes us into uncharted territory and I think it will be a seriously retrograde step in terms of the relationships between the Scottish Parliament, Government and Westminster and the UK Government so I hope they don't do that".

"Confidence in the independence case is growing", Ms Sturgeon told delegates.

"The Growth Commission provides the platform on which we will renew the case for independence", she said.

She also claimed on Sunday that the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is heading back to the House of Commons on Tuesday, is "unconstitutional" and has written to John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, asking for a vote on the issue of the Scottish Parliament refusing to grant consent for the legislation.

The SNP leader will point to the concrete dismal impact that London's migration policy allegedly has on Scotland, in particular, the decline in the number of nursing staff arriving in the country from the European Union since Brexit.

The first minister's speech, which is scheduled to start at about 15:30, will bring the two-day conference in Aberdeen to a close. It is decision time for the Tories.

"As expert groups like the Institute for Fiscal Studies confirm, that would mean at least a further decade of austerity for Scotland".

The conference opened on Friday morning with Keith Brown being confirmed as the SNP's new deputy leader following a vote by party members. Considering there wasn't a single mention of the environment or renewables, this government can no longer claim that tackling climate change is a top priority.

The spokesperson was keen to emphasise that the SNP leader was focused on governing Scotland, saying the speech was "jam packed with day job stuff".

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