Fall in migrant workers since Brexit

Brendan O'Hara MP.
Brendan O'Hara MP.

Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara has said the Tories’ “narrow-minded Brexit rhetoric” is to blame for a fall in the number of overseas workers coming to Scotland.

Figures from the DWP show a drop of over 22 per cent in Argyll and Bute in the number of National Insurance registrations by overseas workers from 2015 to 2018.

Mr O’Hara (SNP) led a debate at Westminster last week calling for an independent evaluation of the impact of Brexit on health and social care, a sector which is potential facing a staffing crisis if immigration issues are not resolved quickly.

He said: “The Tories’ anti-immigrant obsession and narrow-minded Brexit rhetoric is driving people away from this area, putting our economy and vital public services on the line. Freedom of movement is vital to Argyll and Bute.

“Our working age population is predicted to drop by a staggering 36.3 per cent by 2026, an increase of 30 per cent of those aged 75 or over and an overall drop in population of 3.4 per cent.

“The simple fact is that without inward migration our working-age population will decline, making it harder to fund vital public services.

“It is now imperative for Scotland to have the powers to set an immigration policy which suits our specific needs and recognises the huge benefits migrant workers bring to our economy and society.”