New immigration figures add to the evidence that Scotland’s rejected Brexit is failing to deliver on its wild promises. A majority of the UK voted in favor of leaving the EU to ‘take back control of our borders’.
Brexit voters appear to be angry and confused by the fact that legal immigration has increased three times above pre-Brexit levels.
But the overwhelming majority of East Lothians and Scots voted to remain in the EU, where peace and the free movement of people, goods and services have underpinned Britain’s 40 years of prosperity.
A hard Brexit gave up freedom of movement. The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that leaving the EU will eat up £100 billion from the UK’s finances, and one of the Conservatives’ strategies to curb immigration is to cap visas for health and care workers.
It is to exclude them from making important contributions to essential services. If Brexit were successful and we regained control of our borders, money and laws, what would the last seven years of legislative incompetence look like, what would a catastrophic failure look like?
Suella Braverman’s “dream” of flights taking off for Rwanda is every desperate migrant’s nightmare. The reality is this: if every small boat arrival had – somehow – been removed to Africa over 12 months to June 2023, the UK would still have accommodated over 1.1 million legal migrants, over 900,000 from outside the EU. Only a very small percentage of migrants are small boat arrivals. If Westminster concentrated more on policing criminal trafficking gangs and less on demonising migrants, this crisis could be managed. The Tory Rwanda obsession is a smokescreen, obscuring abject failure to develop the coherent, enlightened and effective migration policies that an independent Scotland would pursue as a priority.
Dangerous and doomed UK policy feeds far-right extremism currently infecting our nearest neighbours – the Netherlands and Ireland. Dublin police characterised recent riots as due to “a hooligan lunatic faction driven by a far-right ideology”. The Tánaiste (Eire’s Deputy PM) affirmed: “This is not who we are as a people: Ireland has built a modern and inclusive society.” It is also Scotland’s ambition as a modern European nation sharing what the Tánaiste called “the need to respect difference and the dignity of every human being”. Trampling over human rights leads only to darkness and destruction, and has no place in this county.