‘Fanciful and deranged’: PM rejects SNP Scottish visa plans

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Boris Johnson has branded the SNP’s proposals for a separate Scottish visa system after Brexit as “absolutely fanciful and deranged”.

In today’s PMQs Ian Blackford called on the Prime Minister to consider the plan for a tailored migration policy for Scotland when the UK leaves the EU, after it was rejected by the government earlier this week.

The SNP’s Westminster leader accused the Downing Street of dismissing the plans “before the ink was even dry without consideration” and claimed that experts backed the scheme.

Mr Johnson said the seasonal agricultural workers scheme was “very important” and that he had “every sympathy” with Scottish businesses but insisted that his government’s system would “deliver the immigration this whole country needs”.

Mr Blackford asked on what specific points Mr Johnson disagreed with the proposal, “since the Prime Minister would never reject a proposal without reading it”.

Mr Johnson said: “I think the idea of having a Scottish-only visa with a border at Berwick and ... inspection posts, I think this is absolutely fanciful and deranged and whatever there may be on page 20 of his document, I doubt if he explains who's going to pay for it.”

Mr Blackford responded: “Nobody's suggesting such a thing and that just confirms the Prime Minister doesn't have a clue.”

Last year the Home Secretary Priti Patel unveiled plans for an Australian-style points-based immigration in a bid to end free movement “once and for all” after Brexit.

Mr Blackford also used his PMQ platform to speak out against Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc, saying Scotland was being “dragged out of the EU against our will”.

He added: “We hope our European friends will leave a light on for Scotland.”

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