SCOTTISH Government minister Ben Macpherson has urged his UK counterpart to help release immigration powers to Scotland.

Migration Minister Ben Macpherson has written to Caroline Nokes of the Home Office ahead of an upcoming summit.

The call comes the day after Arran businesswoman Lizanne Zietsman was forced to fly for South Africa on the say-so of UK officials, leaving her English husband behind to run Sandwich Station cafe alone.

The National revealed her battle with the Home Office last week.

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Macpherson will meet with Nokes along with the Welsh Government’s Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles and the head of Northern Ireland’s civil service, David Sterling, at a four-nations roundtable meeting on migration in London on July 23.

In a new letter, the MSP says taking forward proposals set out by the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which reports to the UK Government.

It suggested the introduction of tailored migration policy for different parts of the UK.

That call is in line with the Scottish Government’s own aims.

Recent population growth in Scotland has been, according to statisticians, created by inward migration, not an increase in births.

With the UK Government tied to policies aimed at slashing net immigration, it is feared this could present a major problem for the Scottish tax take, labour market and rural communities.

In his letter, Macpherson outlined concerns over the proposed salary threshold of £30,000 for EU workers, which he claimed would have a “catastrophic” effect on the economy of Scotland.

The suggested minimum is higher than the average Scots salary.

He wrote: “Given the significance of the matter to Scotland, I would also like to discuss how we can work together to deliver the regional immigration pilot projects the MAC recommended in their most recent report, which was a welcome acknowledgement of the need for tailored migration policy for different parts of the country.”

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Macpherson also asked for further details on the timescale for implementing the planned new immigration system, the UK Government’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit scenario, and for updates on the status of EU students in the country.

On the EU settlement scheme, he said little detail had been provided about the process for frontier workers to apply for a document to certify their rights, writing: “The Scottish Government believes that EU citizens should not need to apply to maintain the rights they already have.

“A declaratory system, avoiding the need to make an application and removing the threat of refusal except in the most extreme circumstances, would best protect the rights of EU citizens living here.”