THE SNP have accused the Tories of hypocrisy after Boris Johnson announced a return to allowing international students to work in the UK for two years after graduation.

The Scottish Government and the party’s immigration spokesperson at Westminster, Stuart McDonald, have been pressing for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa since the Tory-LibDem UK government scrapped it in 2012.

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that a similar scheme will operate for students starting courses in the UK from 2020/21 onwards.

Chancellor Sajid Javid, who previously served as Home Secretary, tweeted that the Tories “should have reversed this silly policy years ago”.

However, the SNP said there was no record of him ever suggesting such a move in Parliament and that he had taken no action while in charge of the Home Office. The SNP say they called for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa on some 85 occasions in the Commons, while only a single Scottish Tory MP has ever lobbied ministers to reverse the policy. McDonald said: “The SNP are the only party that have fought long and hard for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa – a resounding victory for common sense.

“This revisionism by the Tories is fooling nobody. Only one of their Scottish MPs has ever raised his head above the parapet, so it takes some brass neck to claim credit for finally and reluctantly doing the right thing. While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it’s just a chip off the monolith that is the Tories’ hostile environment regime.

“We need full powers over migration devolved to the Scottish Parliament and, with Brexit potentially weeks away, we need them now. That way we can build a system that works in our interests, not against them, and makes clear that Scotland welcomes young people to study here, welcomes talent to stay here, welcomes businesses to set up here and welcomes families to make their home here.”