bookmark_borderImmigration to an independent Scotland

I read an article in The Herald today about how Scottish people tend to be more welcoming towards immigrants than English people do. That made me think about immigration here in general.

When I moved here five years ago, one of the things I noticed at first was how few immigrants there are here, compared to large Danish cities (not to mention London or some of the other truly multinational places). I believe the reason for this is that the number of refugees and immigrants are decided for the UK as a whole, and most of them decide to live in England.

However, in an independent Scotland, people who got a residence permit for Scotland wouldn’t automatically be allowed to move to England, so I consider it likely it would lead to higher immigrant numbers here, especially since Scotland needs more immigration to maintain its population, which means that it’s less likely that policies will be very strict compared to England’s.

I personally think this is likely to be a good thing (I definitely miss the Turkish greengrocers and pizzerias!), but I’m not sure that’s true for all the passive supporters of the SNP (I think the leadership and the active members are more likely to be progressive in this regard). Will some people get a shock about the real consequences of independence? 😉