Local MP Brendan O’Hara challenged the Tory Secretary of State for Scotland at Westminster on Wednesday to explain a single economic benefit that Argyll and Bute will enjoy or benefit from by ending freedom of movement across the EU.
Amidst a growing crisis of depopulation, Argyll and Bute must continue to attract more people to the constituency, Brendan O’Hara added:
“Argyll and Bute needs people to recognise the benefits of living and raising their families here, of working here and doing business here.
“David Mundell’s answer to my question was pure political waffle and he completely ignored the very serious question I asked.
Our ongoing economic growth will be predicated on attracting ambitious entrepreneurs from across the EU to come and live, work and raise families here.”
Migrant entrepreneurs run one in ten small businesses in Scotland and contribute £13 billion to the Scottish economy, according to a new report commissioned by the Federation of Small Businesses.
The analysis by the Hunter Centre at the University of Strathclyde found that migrant-led smaller businesses provide 107,000 jobs.
The report also found that migrants in rural Scotland are more likely to be self-employed or run their own business.
Commenting further, Brendan O’Hara MP said:
“We also know that EEA migrants pay more in taxes than they receive in welfare benefits and consume in public services.
With a diminishing population in Argyll and Bute, that’s why those coming from the EU are both welcome here and we want those already here to stay.
“The Secretary of State is well aware of this crisis. He knows the harm ending our freedom of movement will do but he will not stand up for Argyll and Bute even though he knows the Prime Minister’s obsession will have hugely damaging consequences for Argyll and Bute”.
“The Secretary of State, by his actions has confirmed what we have all suspected, that he is not in office to promote Scotland’s interests in the UK cabinet. Rather, he is there simply to facilitate and implement deeply damaging Tory policies in Scotland… policies that Scotland has rejected time and again.”