IMMIGRATION Minister James Brokenshire has told MPs that the Brain family, who are battling to stay in Scotland, are facing no immediate threat of deportation.

He was speaking in a debate triggered by an urgent question from the family’s MP Ian Blackford, who said they were facing “impending deportation”.

Gregg, Kathryn and their seven-year-old son Lachlan, had been given until Tuesday to leave Scotland after coming here five years ago as part of an initiative to repopulate the Highlands.

“I am meeting the honourable member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber again this afternoon to further discuss this matter,” said Brokenshire.

“He can be assured that the family does not face an imminent risk of immediate deportation.”

The family are due to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this afternoon.

The news comes after a community-owned distillery at the heart of a crowdfunding drive stepped in to help the young family’s case to remain in Scotland after the man behind it offered Kathryn a job.

John McKenzie is aiming to ensure that GlenWyvis Distillery near Dingwall makes history as the world’s first community-owned, renewables-powered facility of its kind.

He invited the Brain family to the distillery yesterday, when he offered Kathryn a part-time post with the potential to become full time, and which could satisfy visa requirements.

Kathryn broke the news on Alex Salmond’s LBC Radio phone-in yesterday, when McKenzie said her qualifications were a perfect match for his requirements.

“In short, Kathryn is highly qualified and exactly the person we’re looking for,” he said.

“We’ve just hit the half-way point in our funding with £750,000 of the £1.5 million we’re looking to raise and we’re at the point where we can start recruiting for further staff for marketing during the final phase of fundraising over the next 30 days.

“Kathryn’s qualifications, her degree in Scottish history and archaeology is absolutely ideal, and to find somebody with that qualification so close is tremendous.

“In fact the family have been living in the street where I was born, just a couple of doors down so it’s a match – the high profile nature of the GlenWyvis project and the frustration of the Brains’ predicament – hopefully a last-gasp job offer might save the day.”

Kathryn told the programme the family had been overwhelmed since her husband Gregg made an appearance on it last week.

“We’ve been contacted by GlenWyvis Distillery – we had intended to become one of the community shareholders ourselves had we got to stay and we’re hoping that will still be the case – John has contacted us with a job offer for myself,” she said.

“Initially the job is in a temporary capacity until they reach their full funding potential – the share closing is on June 24 – with a view to that position becoming permanent.

“It would fit perfectly with the qualifications I’ve received as a result of the degree that I’ve just completed. But the way things stand, we’re supposed to be out of the country by Tuesday and I don’t have the right to work just now, so it’s an impossible situation as things stand.”

Salmond said the offer could be a “game-changer”, but added: “If it’s a temporary job it will require ministerial discretion, but from what Kathryn is saying she’s got the prospect of a job under what’s called tier two in a permanent capacity.”

The former First Minister told The National he had spoken to Immigration Minister James Brokenshire about the case. “All Brokenshire has to do is exercise his ministerial discretion, give them a leave of extension of two months or whatever, to see if this job becomes permanent. So maximum pressure and leverage on him is the order of the day, uniting two great local causes – the community distillery and the Brain family."

Frenzy over Brain case on TV and among politicians