INVERCLYDE’S MSP says migration policy in an independent Scotland would help reverse the area’s declining population.

The Scottish Government published a paper titled ‘Migration to Scotland after Independence’ – the sixth in its ‘Building a New Scotland’ series.

The paper details an approach to migration that Stuart McMillan says ‘stands in stark contrast with that of the UK Government’.

He said: “For too long the immense value that migrants add to communities like Inverclyde, whether that is through cultural or economic enrichment, has been ignored.

Greenock Telegraph: Stuart McMillan MSPStuart McMillan MSP (Image: George Munro)

“Westminster control over migration policy has done immeasurable harm to both migrants and Scotland and the current hostile environment is a shameful scourge on the UK.

“With the full powers of independence, Scotland will create a migration policy that is tailored to the needs of our people, our businesses and our economy.”

Figures released by the National Records of Scotland in September showed that Inverclyde’s population has shrunk by almost four per cent since 2011 - one of the sharpest declines recorded across the country.

Mr McMillan added: “Over many decades now, Inverclyde has experienced population decline.

“This has an impact on our local economy and coupled with a growing elderly population, could threaten the sustainability of local services.

“An independent Scotland can help reverse this trend, as with full control over migration powers, we can design a system that can help address staffing shortages in certain sectors, such as health and social care.

“We must be able to implement policies which reflect the values and needs of communities like Inverclyde, and this paper outlines how, with the full powers of independence, we would do exactly that.”