Publised date : 28 Jan 2020

Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, and Perth and North Perthshire MP, Mr Pete Wishart, have today penned a joint letter to regional Tory MSP Murdo Fraser.

The letter challenges Mr Fraser to urgently back proposals for a new Scottish Visa after Westminster dismissed the plans out-of-hand, stating that: “immigration will remain a reserved matter”. 

A range of stakeholder groups have backed the Scottish Government’s plan for a devolved Scottish visa system – piling pressure on the UK government to engage seriously with the proposals.

Support for the proposals include the Federation of Small Businesses, the National Farmers Union Scotland, and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“The Home Office’s dismissive attitude to the Scottish Government’s plan for a devolved Scottish visa system is sadly not surprising. It is simply more evidence of the UK Government’s willingness to put their own narrow interests above the needs of the people of Perthshire.

“This is yet another example of the requirement for decisions over the future of Scotland to be taken here in Scotland - not by arrogant, out-of-touch Westminster governments that we didn’t vote for.

“Accordingly, Pete Wishart and I have written to Murdo Fraser urging him to put aside blind party loyalty and join us in supporting a devolved Scottish visa system.

“The choice for Murdo Fraser is clear: he must decide between standing up for his constituents, or stepping aside and allowing Boris Johnson to harm our local businesses, communities and farmers.”

Mr Wishart added:

“Having just fought a general election and having had conversations with literally thousands of local people, I know first-hand how unhappy Perthshire voters are with Boris Johnson imposing his reckless Brexit on us all.

“Murdo Fraser would be wise to heed these warnings – and the outcome of the election locally. 

“Perthshire people are simply not willing to accept Tory politicians who will choose the path of least resistance and bend to the will of Boris Johnson at the expense of local communities.

“I understand that Boris Johnson has hard-right Brexiteers in his thrall, but Scotland – and Perthshire – do not share these values. Murdo Fraser’s first responsibility is to his constituents, and I therefore hope that he will find the courage to speak up for their interests by supporting the Scottish Government’s scheme.”


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