A MAJORITY of people in Scotland want Holyrood to be in control of key policy areas including Trident and immigration, according to a new poll.

The finding was among the results of a survey of more than 1000 people north of the Border, which also found most voters supported the Scottish Government having control over the number of foreign workers coming to the country.

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Control over both defence and immigration are currently reserved to Westminster, but in the poll 47% of Scots said the Scottish Government should be in charge of whether nuclear weapons can be based in an area, while 50% said ministers in Edinburgh should be responsible for the number of foreign workers coming to Scotland to work.

In contrast, only a third of Scots supported the UK Government being in charge of where nuclear weapons bases are situated, while just 25% believed Westminster should have control over foreign nationals coming to work in Scotland.

The poll also revealed that 55% of Scots believe the Scottish Government should be responsible for setting levels of unemployment benefit and that business taxes should be set in Scotland – both of which are matters that are reserved to the UK Government.

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The SNP and the Scottish Greens want the Scottish Government to have control over immigration, back the removal of Trident from the Clyde and support the devolution of all welfare powers. Last night the two parties welcomed the findings.

SNP Westminster deputy leader Kirsty Blackman said the results should be “a wake-up call for the Tories” amid “the power grab” threat over devolved powers being transferred from Brussels post Brexit.

The UK Government wants to hold on to 24 powers in devolved areas for up to seven years, rather than handing them to Holyrood.

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“This is a wake-up call for all those Tories from Scottish Secretary David Mundell down – who want to reduce not increase Scotland’s powers,” said Blackman.

“A decisive majority support the Scottish Parliament having the power to decide on foreign workers' rights to come and work in Scotland – recognising the Tories’ failed hostile environment policy runs counter to the needs of the Scottish economy. There is also a clear majority for levels of business taxes to be set in Scotland – against the backdrop of Westminster indifference to Scotland’s economic needs.”

She added: “These findings indicate that there is growing confidence in Scotland’s future and consistent and solid support for decisions currently made by Westminster – to be devolved. We know that Scotland can have a brighter future if we continue to drive forward progressive policies in health, education and the economy, as well as challenging the Tories' chaotic job-destroying Brexit.”

Ross Greer, MSP for the West of Scotland for the Scottish Greens, said: “It’s encouraging that so many people in Scotland think the Scottish Parliament should be in control of immigration and a wide range of other issues.

“Quite sensibly, most people don’t trust Westminster with most issues. The immigration target imposed on Scotland does not fit our needs, nor our aspirations to be a truly welcoming country.

“It’s clear more and more Scots are coming to realise that a Scottish Government with full powers over immigration, inside or outside of the UK, will be less inclined to deploy billboards telling migrants to ‘go home’.”

He added: “While this poll highlights the sense of anti-Trident feeling in Scotland, it’s important to point out only independence will offer us the ability to get rid of these abhorrent weapons of mass destruction once and for all.”

The survey was conducted by YouGov for the BBC and found people in Scotland are more likely to be optimistic about the future than people elsewhere in the UK.

Polling expert professor John Curtice said the people with an optimistic view of Scotland’s future were “predominantly those who are supporters of independence”.

He said: “What seems to be the case in Scotland is that SNP supporters in particular, supporters of Scottish independence, are inclined to feel the best days are ahead.

“They obviously believe that someday in the not too distant future Scotland might become an independent country, and therefore as a result that things might be better.”

The sample size in Scotland was 1025 adults. The fieldwork took place between April 25 and 30, 2018.