SNP attack Gove Scots immigration claims as #Brexit vote surges in polls


Guardian ICM poll puts Out ahead by six points just days from the referendum on continued EU membership

LEADING SNP figures have lashed out at UK justice secretary Michael Gove for claiming that Scotland would have greater control of immigration in the event of an out vote in the upcoming EU referendum.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the claims, made in the wake of the Brain family controversy in which an Australian family settled in the Highlands for five years face deportation, were “a fib and a half”.

Former party leader Alex Salmond branded the comments “nonsense” on Twitter.

Quoted in the Herald, Gove, who is also co-convenor of the official Vote Leave campaign, said: “Ultimately, the numbers who would come [to Scotland] in the future would be decided by the Westminster parliament and the Holyrood parliament working together.

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“Because only by leaving the EU can we assert control over numbers, and only by leaving the EU could we then have a discussion between Holyrood and Westminster about how you can have an immigration policy that works both in the interests of Scotland and in the interests of the rest of the UK.”

Immigration policy is currently a reserved issue, and many campaigners trying to stop the deportation of the Brain family have commented that Scotland suffers from an overly restrictive immigration policy that worsens the problems of de-population in parts of the country.

The row comes as a poll by ICM for the Guardian put an Out vote ahead by 6 points, with those opting to leave the EU at 53 per cent compared to those favouring an In vote at 47 per cent, with a little over a week to go until the vote on 23 June.

Picture courtesy of Policy Exchange

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