THE next independence whitepaper will set out the Scottish Government’s vision for a migration system based on “dignity, fairness and respect”.

On Friday, ministers will publish the sixth paper in the Building a New Scotland series focusing on the importance of immigrants to the country and setting out a different approach to the current “hostile environment” purported by Westminster.

The Scottish Government has long called for immigration to be devolved to attract more working-age people to the country, and help pay for the ageing population via taxes.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf defends Nicola Sturgeon amid Covid WhatsApps row

The latest paper is expected to set out how Scotland can benefit both socially and economically from increased migration.

The new independence blueprint will be launched in Dundee by Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, Independence Minister Jamie Hepburn and Migration Minister Emma Roddick on Friday.

Ahead of the announcement, Somerville (below) said the paper would lay out new Scottish Government agencies and visa routes that would help to attract people to the country.

“People who come to live and work in Scotland are vital to our country’s future – not only for the contribution they make to our culture and communities but also for supporting economic growth and sustaining public services,” she said.

The National:

“The proposals in this paper, including new visa routes and agencies, would support people with a wide range of skills to make Scotland their home.

“Independence is essential in order to get the powers Scotland needs to build a migration system that works for every part of our country and which has dignity, fairness and respect at its core.

“The UK Government’s Brexit policy and its approach to migration and asylum do not reflect the attitudes of most people in Scotland and are damaging our economy: we need to boost our working population, not reduce it.

“Under current constitutional arrangements Scotland’s population is projected to fall, so I look forward to discussing the opportunities that independence and control of migration policy will bring.”

READ MORE: Scottish Gaza activist speaks out after arrest following Dundee march

The latest census figures revealed that while Scotland’s population had grown to a record number, without migration, the population of Scotland would have decreased by around 49,800 since 2011.

It also revealed an ageing population, with First Minister Humza Yousaf stating that reversing overall population decline could be achieved by independence.

“I am in no doubt that alongside the climate crisis, the challenges of an ageing population are among the biggest issues future generations will face in Scotland, unless action is taken today,” Yousaf said in July.

Migration is currently reserved to Westminster, with policy differences between the two governments previously causing friction.

In early 2020, then first minister Nicola Sturgeon (above) called for a separate visa system north of the border to address demographic issues.

A call that was summarily rejected just hours after it was made.

However, recent polling showed that Scots are “broadly comfortable” with migration and almost three-fifth believe it has a positive impact on the country.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “Our points-based system rightly prioritises the skills we already have in the UK, while attracting the talent our economy needs to grow. It is broader than the previous immigration system, with many more jobs now eligible, stretching across all key sectors of the British economy.

“Immigration is a reserved matter for the UK Government, and the points-based system works in the interest of the whole of the UK.”