First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has strongly condemned leaked UK government plans threatening to restrict immigration from the EU after Brexit.
She described such plans as “morally bankrupt”.
The leaked document shows how the government plans to make it very difficult for EU nationals living in the UK to be joined by their members.
If implemented, the new rules would require EU nationals to be granted permission before working in the UK. The employers will also be required to recruit locally first before giving jobs to EU nationals.
EU nationals wanting to settle in the UK for longer than two years would also have to register and provide their fingerprints for a biometric ID card.
Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday defended her government’s immigration plans saying that immigration is good for Britain but the public want to see it controlled.
“Overall, immigration has been good for the UK but what people want to see is control of that immigration – that is what people want to see as a result of coming out of the European Union,” Mrs May told parliament.
She added: “There is a reason for wanting to ensure that we can control migration. It is because of the impact that that migration can have … on people, on access to services, on infrastructure, but crucially it often hits those at the lower end of the income scale hardest.”
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Ms Sturgeon said: “These proposals are dreadful and I think they are just a sign of the fact that this UK government has completely lost the plot and lost sight of what they should be doing to secure a brighter future for the country.”
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, described the government’s proposals as “deliberately discriminatory”.
“If these proposals are implemented it could be catastrophic for the UK hospitality industry and for those who enjoy the hospitality it brings – whether it be in restaurants, theatres, hotels, bars and tourist attractions,” Ibrahim said. “The Government need to be urgently reminded that so-called unskilled workers in hospitality – the ambassadors for our country – are necessary. It is not just the bankers and the lawyers that are needed to fill the employment gaps.”