Humza Yousaf rages over Tories’ immigration policy
Humza Yousaf unleashed a tirade about Rishi Sunak’s immigration plans during FMQs today.
The Scottish First Minister claimed it was a “real dark day” for the UK in reference to measures announced this week to slash record levels of legal migration.
Mr Yousaf was asked by SNP MSP Clare Haughey whether he condemns restrictions which will prevent care workers from bringing dependents with them to Britain.
The SNP leader, whose grandfather came to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1960s to work in a sewing machine factory in Clydebank, replied: “It’s a real dark day for the UK.
“A country that once welcomed immigrants, including my grandfather to the country, in fact, begged him to come and others to come to work in their factories, to drive buses, due to the labour shortages that were seen at that time.”
Also taking aim at Labour, he continued: “”What successive UK governments have done – Labour and Conservatives – is they have, bit by bit, dismantled our immigration and indeed our asylum processes.
“On immigration, the latest announcements mean that we’re asking – the UK Government is asking – migrants to come here to look after our own family members but doing so by abandoning their own family members back home.
“On asylum, the UK Government has virtually eliminated any practical legal route for those that are fleeing war or persecution.
“The policies of the UK Government in this respect are not only morally repugnant, but they are economically illiterate.
“The SNP, the Scottish Government, values migration. We value the importance of it to our social fabric but also to our economy, and let me say unequivocally that in Scotland, the Scottish Government will always say that we are proud of the benefits that migrants bring to this country, and we are proud that they have chosen Scotland to be their home.”
His intervention came as Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross confirmed he would back the Prime Minister’s new emergency legislation on the Rwanda plan aimed at getting a grip on the small boats crisis.
Speaking after FMQs, Mr Ross said: “It’s absolutely vital that we use every policy available to prevent people from making an extremely dangerous crossing – we see far too many lives lost in the English Channel.
“That’s why the Prime Minister has looked at the ruling from the Supreme Court, he’s looked at the legislation that can be brought through the UK Parliament to deter people from making that dangerous crossing, from putting their life at risk, and also to ensure the people that benefit from this currently – the people smugglers – that route is stopped from them. I will be supporting the Bill when it comes to Parliament.”
The emergency legislation deems Rwanda a safe country after the Supreme Court last month ruled the scheme unlawful.
Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “We are taking crucial steps forward to respond to the Supreme Court’s findings, which recognised that changes could be delivered to make this landmark partnership work.
“Building on our legally binding treaty, the Safety of Rwanda Bill will make absolutely clear in UK law that Rwanda is a safe country.
“This will play a key part in our efforts to stop the boats and save lives – I would urge Parliament to ensure the legislation is passed as soon as possible.
“Rwanda is a country that cares deeply about supporting refugees. It stands ready to welcome those relocated there.”
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