MIGRATION from the European Union to the UK is at its lowest level in six years, according to the most recent government figures.
MSP Bruce Crawford (SNP, Stirling) has blamed the Conservative government in Westminster for the plummeting figures, while highlighting his concerns for the local economy.
He said: “Immigration is a necessity for places like Stirling; we have a huge tourism sector here and local businesses I have spoken to have said that they are screaming out for people, both low skilled and no skilled, to come here to work.
“The Tory government is threatening Scotland’s economy and Stirling’s public services with its hostile environment immigration policies, which it knows will leave places like Stirling poorer and worse off.”
The figures published by the National Office of Statistics also revealed that since the referendum on EU membership, net migration from the region fell to just 59,000 in the year ending in March 2019 – less than a third of the level four years ago.
Earlier this year, Crawford made a plea to EU citizens, assuring them that they will always be welcome in Stirling.
He was a huge supporter of the campaign to push the UK government to scrap the £65 settled status fee for EU citizens.
MEP Alyn Smith, who recently set up his parliamentary office in Stirling, added: “By cutting off much needed immigration for Scotland’s economy, the UK government is sending the working age population into decline.
“Yet again, Scotland is being completely ignored by this Tory government and our interests have been put to the side.”
Stephen Kerr MP has been contacted for a response but was either unavailable or unwilling to comment by the time of going to print.
Featured image credit: University of Stirling