Andrew Neil savages SNP chief in BRUTAL Brexit grilling on Sturgeon's 'absurd' visa plot

BBC’s Andrew Neil quizzed SNP Immigration spokesman Stuart McDonald MP over Scotland’s immigration policy as he accused Scotland of not being “popular”. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for Scotland to have its own immigration powers as part of a flexible "Scottish visa" after Brexit. Mr Neil asked: “In 2018 your net immigration figure was 10,000; for the UK as a whole it was 240,000. Why is it not a popular destination for immigrants?”

Speaking to BBC’s Politics Live, Mr McDonald said: “It is popular. I think every region outside of London and the southeast will come up against quite a tough challenge in competing with London.

“But we know that if we had control of migration and we were able to introduce flexibilities, even more, would be able to come.

“It’s not that there isn’t demand.

“We attract interest from plenty of people. The problem we’re facing is the immigration rules we’re facing isn’t allowing people to come.”

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Damian Green MP added: “It’s absurdly impractical. You’ve pointed out some of the impracticalities.

“But the wider point is that one of the reasons immigration enforcement is extremely difficult is that the system is hugely complex.

“Every extra complexity you put in the system allows people to duck and dive and makes it more expensive and more difficult to enforce.

“To have another part of the UK to have a different immigration policy doesn’t work.

The Scottish First Minister said: “A common UK-wide approach to immigration simply hasn’t worked in Scotland’s interests for some time now.

“Brexit will undoubtedly exacerbate what was already a significant challenge.”

The regional model that Scotland requests is already used by Canadian provinces and Australian states.

The Scottish Government would be the sole sponsor of applicants for a Scottish visa and would screen applications.

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