Rural communities ‘should run fast-track visa schemes’
The future prosperity of the Highlands and Islands will require local communities to be given powers to recruit and vet a new wave of immigrants, the runner-up in the SNP leadership race has claimed.
Kate Forbes said a “bespoke and community-led” scheme that “unashamedly celebrated” the contribution of immigrants was essential to combat predicted population decline of up to 16 per cent across rural Scotland over the next 20 years.
Calling for more powers for the Scottish parliament, Forbes said the failure to woo more incomers would result in the rapid impoverishment of an ageing rural population.
Writing in West Word, a community newsletter for Mallaig and the Small Isles, she condemned the “unwelcoming, onerous, complicated immigration system devised by the Tories” and said “the