The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

FSB in plea on non-UK work­ers

- BY KEITH FIND­LAY UK News · Immigration · Society · Federal Security Bureau · United Kingdom · Scotland · European Union · University of Strathclyde

A Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses (FSB) “man­i­festo” wants the winning gen­eral elec­tion can­di­dates to de­liver a Scot­land-friendly im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem.

High­light­ing the economic con­tri­bu­tion of non-UK na­tion­als who have made this coun­try their home, the FSB said Scot­land needs an im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem “which works for lo­cal economies and com­mu­ni­ties”.

FSB Scot­land pol­icy chair­man Andrew McRae said: “Our next batch of MPs will likely need to make a num­ber of im­por­tant choices about the struc­ture of a UK fu­ture im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem.

“At ev­ery turn we’re

“A regime that recog­nises Scot­land’s de­mo­graphic chal­lenges”

urg­ing them to push for a regime that recog­nises Scot­land’s de­mo­graphic chal­lenges and is user­friendly and af­ford­able for smaller busi­ness.”

Re­search pub­lished by the FSB and Strath­clyde Univer­sity this year showed im­mi­grant en­trepreneur­s make a £13 bil­lion an­nual con­tri­bu­tion to Scot­land’s econ­omy and sup­port more than 107,000 jobs.

Other FSB re­search found 26% of small em­ploy­ers in Scot­land have at least one em­ployee from an­other EU coun­try, ris­ing to 41% in the High­lands. This com­pares to 21% across the whole UK.

The FSB elec­tion wish list also makes the case for new fund­ing for Scot­tish towns and high streets. Fig­ures com­piled by the small busi­ness cam­paign group show Scot­land’s towns have faced more than 400 re­tail clo­sures since the start of 2016.

Mr McRae said: “There’s no end in sight as many big name brands an­nounce re­struc­tur­ing pro­grammes.”

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