WESTMINSTER’S Scottish Affairs Committee is to hold an inquiry into the “effectiveness of UK immigration policy in Scotland”.

The cross-party group of MPs will examine how well the current system meets the country’s needs and look at how easy it will be for non-UK citizens to move to Scotland after Brexit.

Scottish Ministers have argued that, given concerns over demographics north of the Border, immigration should be devolved rather than controlled by the UK Government.

The committee said a key part of its inquiry will focus on the impact of the UK leaving the EU and the likely implications for the free movement of EU nationals.

It will examine the importance of low-skilled or seasonal immigration to the Scottish economy and investigate how this could be replicated post-Brexit.

SNP MP Pete Wishart, who chairs the committee, said: “Scotland is proud to be a multi-cultural nation whose population is made up of people from all across the world and it is widely acknowledged that continued migration from EU and non-EU nations is essential to our future success.

“In the last Parliament, this committee repeatedly heard that the current immigration system doesn’t meet the needs of Scotland and Brexit raises new questions about how easy it will be for EU nationals to move here in the future.

“This inquiry will seek to establish what Scotland’s future migration needs will be and how these can be met.”

There is wide-ranging support for Scotland to have control over its own immigration policy, with all the parties in Holyrood being more open to immigrants coming to Scotland than their colleagues in Westminster.

Businesses say slashing migration figures, as the UK Government aim to do, will have a particularly large impact in Scotland, where there are not enough people to do the jobs that exist.

An ageing population more reliant on the state for help also needs a much broader tax base, which can only be achieved through immigration.

Nicola Sturgeon used the 20th anniversary of the Scottish devolution referendum to push for greater powers over immigration.

Sturgeon said the Prime Minister’s target was based on “ideology rather than any rational consideration” and could be “devastating”.

“Let’s be clear what that would mean for Scotland,” the First Minister said.

“It would place a bigger burden on today’s young people. It raises again the likelihood of a falling working population. And that in turn would mean skills shortages, fewer jobs and fewer taxpayers to pay for a growing demand for public services.

“A debate and target driven largely by the needs and priorities of other parts of the UK could have devastating consequences for our economy and society.”

Earlier this year, Scottish Secretary David Mundell categorically ruled out powers over immigration being devolved to Holyrood.