THE Scottish Tory leader faces questions from the CEO of Scottish Care after he told the BBC he doesn’t believe the sector will face recruitment issues after Brexit.

Downing Street confirmed this week that foreign social care workers will not be qualify for a new post-Brexit health and care visa.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to care home workers after learning of the plan yesterday, saying she and the Scottish Government are grateful for all they do. She vowed to push the UK Government to change its position on the issue.

Speaking at the daily briefing, Sturgeon said 6-8% of Scotland’s care home workers come to work here from other countries within the EU. She said excluding them from such a visa is likely to have a “devastating impact” on the already challenged sector.

READ MORE: ‘Utter slap in the face’ as Tories snub care workers from health visa

Only those classed as skilled workers – for example, doctors, nurses, radiographers, social workers, and paramedics – will be eligible for the visa. Those applying will also need to be coming to work in a position paying at least £20,480, which is substantially more than a beginning salary for a care worker.

Scottish Care CEO Donald Macaskill has warned the move is an “utter slap in the face for the care sector”.

Speaking to Reporting Scotland yesterday evening, Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw echoed Downing Street’s defence of the policy. He played down the risk of recruitment issues.

He told the programme: “If we find after it’s come into place that there are still deficiencies then those are things that can be corrected.

“But I don’t automatically believe that the care home sector will be unable to recruit the right people into it.

“As I say, I think the important thing is that we see the skills and reward within the care home sector reflected and properly recognised given the work they’ve done over the last few months.”

The National:

Macaskill (above) reacted furiously to Carlaw’s comments online. He wrote on Twitter: “I simply cannot believe that Jackson Carlaw on BBC Scotland News is suggesting #carehomes will not have recruitment problems when we close the door to #immigration.

“We have consistently given evidence which the UK Home Office has ignored. This is delusional politics devoid of reason.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf reposted the CEO’s comments, adding: “Jackson Carlaw being called out for engaging in ‘delusional politics devoid of reason’ – not my words but those of the CEO of Scottish Care, who knows infinitely more than Carlaw about the social care sector.”

The UK Government has defended its visa stance against complaints that it will cause recruitment challenges.

A Home Office spokesperson said yesterday: “Immigration is not the answer to the challenges in the social care sector. We want employers to focus on investing in our domestic workforce.”