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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-17005
Asked by: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 31 May 2018

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Food Supply Chain Manifesto, which calls on the UK Government to guarantee continued access to permanent and seasonal workers for the farming and food production sector.

Current status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 7 June 2018


Answer

Reducing access to labour and skills by ending free movement will damage businesses in every sector of the economy in Scotland, and Scottish Ministers are clear that we need a solution for future migration that meets the needs of the agriculture sector.

However, evidence published by the Migration Advisory Committee shows that every sector of the economy - agriculture and fisheries, tourism and culture, healthcare and education - faces labour and skills challenges due to Brexit. We therefore need a migration system which meets the needs of all sectors of the economy, and we need an approach which is simple for employers and individuals to navigate and is flexible enough to meet changing needs.

Most importantly though we need the UK Government to start engaging on this issue. We have set out this Government’s position on the benefits of free movement of people and the need for new powers for the Scottish Parliament on migration. UK Ministers should now meet with the Scottish Government to discuss how we develop solutions tailored to Scotland’s needs.