“Scotland needs its own immigration plan” says former BBC broadcaster
Scotland would be better placed to address immigration issues if it were independent, a former BBC journalist claimed at an event in Linlithgow Bowling Club on Monday 26th May.
Speaking at an event organised by Yes Linlithgow, Derek Bateman, who was once the voice of BBC Radio Scotland, said that the gains made by UKIP in the European Elections on May 22nd highlighted the existence of “racism” in Scotland. “I’m sorry to see that UKIP have won their first seat in Scotland. Now, the wolf is at the door, and this should provide a sharp and urgent warning about xenophobia in Scotland. The only way to tackle this is to secure a yes vote”, he said.
Bateman said “The overwhelming majority of migrants in this country work hard, pay their taxes and make a net contribution”. He also highlighted that Scotland has an aging population, meaning that it is necessary to attract working age migrants into the country to keep the economy afloat.
However, Bateman went on to say that “UKIP have raised issues that we shouldn’t just sweep aside”. He said that it was necessary for countries to “plan” for a new intake of migrants to prevent strain on housing and public services and that the last Labour government failed to do this. He pointed out that Scotland has large swathes of sparsely populated areas which would benefit from incentives encouraging migrants live and work in there. “You need to mould your immigration policies to fit your national needs and that doesn’t happen under the current arrangement, where Scotland has no control over its own immigration policy”, he said.
June Martin, a representative from Yes Linlithgow who organised the event said: “Derek Bateman was the last in a series of speakers who have come to Linlithgow over the past few months to talk about the benefits that independence can bring to Scotland, and to address the concerns of undecided voters. The discussion has been fascinating, and we’d like to thank all of the local people who’ve come to our events and participated in that discussion”.