THE SNP have condemned the Tory Government as “totally clueless” about Scotland’s migration needs after Dominic Raab dismissed calls for a Scottish visa.

Nicola Sturgeon has set out proposals for a differentiated visa system “to meet Scotland’s distinct needs”. Yet the Home Office swiftly dismissed the plans, saying immigration “will remain a reserved matter”.

The Foreign Secretary’s comments that the Scottish Government’s detailed proposals were either “unworkable” or “draconian” show that he doesn’t understand them, according to SNP immigration spokesperson Stuart McDonald MP. “It is displaying high-handed arrogance by dismissing out of hand the Scottish Government’s proposals for a tailored immigration system to boost the economy and protect public services,” he said.

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The proposals have cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament, and the backing of a wide range of expert organisations. However, when questioned about them on the BBC Andrew Marr show yesterday, Raab gave them short shrift. “How can that work?” asked Raab. “Either it’s unworkable or it would be so draconian because it would require people in the UK to stay in one part of the UK.”

McDonald said his comments showed that the Tory Government was “totally clueless about Scotland’s migration needs”.

“Yet again, Westminster is failing Scotland. Tory Brexit and hostile immigration policies threaten to plunge Scotland’s working age population into decline – and inflict serious damage to our public finances, public services and the economy.

“Westminster’s refusal to even listen to Scotland’s needs just underlines why people in Scotland must have a choice over our future – so we can protect our economy and build a system that works in our interests as an equal and independent country.”