Following his recent re-election, Stuart McDonald MP has been reinstated as the SNP’s spokesman on immigration, asylum and border control.
The role ties in with Mr McDonald’s professional background as, prior to entering politics, he was a human rights solicitor working for the Immigration Advisory Service.
Asked about the chief priorities in his party role, the MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East said: “A key priority is ensuring Scotland’s needs and circumstances are considered when the government puts in place its new policies for immigration. Indeed, there is a growing consensus that Scotland should be able to have different policies in place that best work for our economy and public services.
“If the government doesn’t listen, then an end to free movement of EU workers will undoubtedly cause huge problems in terms of recruiting and even losing nurses and doctors, lecturers and researchers, talented international students and workers in key industries – and there is a mountain of evidence to back all this up. We could all pay a huge price as a result. Also, if the government doesn’t listen, we will see more and more families split apart.
“I already have too many constituents suffering because they can’t bring a husband, wife or child to live with them here because of high financial thresholds and some of the most restrictive family migration rules in the world. The government wants even tougher rules – these must be opposed, otherwise it will mean only the wealthiest are allowed to fall in love with a citizen of another country. Finally, it is essential that we make sure the refugee crisis is given the priority it deserves, and is not ignored.
“Men, women and children are still being exploited, abused, or drowning as they flee violence and persecution.
“There is much more we can do – we must seek to force the government to change its mind on closing the Dubs scheme for child refugees in Europe. And yet, instead the government wants to undermine the international system of protection we have for refugees – this must be opposed at all costs.”
Last year Labour peer and former refugee Alfred Dubs, who in 1939 fled Czechoslavia thanks to “British Schindler” Nicholas Winton, successfully amended the Immigration Act to require the UK to rehome unaccompanied child refugees, but this was scrapped in February.