For immediate release: Monday 13th June 2016

Attention: Newsdesks/political correspondents


Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond MP has said the UK Government is standing in the way of Scotland having the immigration powers we need, not the EU, and has accused leave campaigner Lord Chancellor Michael Gove of "talking nonsense on ermine clad stilts " following an interview on Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland today.

Michael Gove claimed that Scotland would decide on immigration in the event of a Leave vote and cited the Brain family from Dingwall who are currently threatened with deportation and denied the right to work as an example of those who would benefit.

Alex Salmond has pointed out that, in reality, the Brain family came to Scotland on a post-study work-visa and a Highland Homecoming scheme initiated by the Scottish Government and backed by the Home Office. That scheme was then cancelled in 2012, by the Tory UK government, after the Brains arrived in the Highlands.
Alex Salmond MP said:

"The Brain family are not suffering from any impositions of the European Union. They are suffering at the hands of Gove's Tory Government.
“Scotland had some discretion on immigration policy to attract young families to the Highlands but that was removed by Gove and his Tory colleagues. Even now, all the Home Secretary has to do is to allow the Brains to stay and keep the commitment made to this young family - there is no European restriction whatsoever on her ability to do that.
“So here is a direct challenge to Gove: as current Justice Secretary he has not hitherto lifted a finger to help this family he now claims to be concerned about.
“He now claims to want Scotland to decide immigration and the overwhelming majority of MPs and MSPs back the Brains. So let him today make a public statement urging his Tory colleague the Home Secretary to let the Brains work while they apply for the right to remain permanently in Scotland.
“The truth is of course is that the Brexiteers will say anything at this stage in the campaign.  They run about England telling people they are going to slash immigration and now Gove comes to Scotland to tell us we will be able to attract more people.
“The Lord Chancellor is talking nonsense on ermine clad stilts - what is standing in the way of Scotland having the immigration powers we need isn’t the EU, it’s the UK government.”

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