Immigration not a factor

I would like to take the opportunity to remind Toby Sandison (‘Callous and uncaring Home Office’, SN 13/7/16) that Wir Shetland as a group is made up from a cross section of the Shetland community, the committee itself reflects the membership in that there are persons of many political views. 

I myself look forward to the day when an autonomous Shetland can control our own borders not in order to keep people out, but in order to attract the workforce we need.

There can be little doubt that the people detained by the immigration authorities were performing a useful function in our community. Some have said that they welcome the removal of these people because they were obviously not paying taxes.

Of course they couldn’t pay tax when being in the country illegally, and the current system set up by the Westminster government means that they couldn’t possibly gain the right to stay whilst working in a low paid job.

Some argue that the presence of immigrants keeps wages low, but of course, if wages rise, eventually the customer pays. In this case, enforcing these unfair immigration laws is likely to mean that the Shetland public will face a reduced choice and increased costs when eating out or at home.

The recent Brexit campaign was beset by lies on both sides, £350 million to spend on the NHS per week was a claim that didn’t stand up to even a cursory glance, and Project fears predictions of economic disaster don’t seem to have materialised.

Wir Shetland position on the EU is based mainly on Shetland’s largest industry – fishing. I for one despaired at the Brexit campaign focus on immigration, clearly leaving the EU was never going to make a significant difference to immigration, over half of which is from outside the EU, but getting rid of the common fisheries policy can make a huge difference to Shetland’s largest industry.  

The lack of democracy, the huge amounts of red tape, and the unsuitability of legislation dreamt up in Brussels in a one size fits all fashion, are other factors that came into our decision to support Brexit. Not once was immigration a factor.

If Mr Sandison is really in favour of autonomy for Shetland he should get on board and influence the direction of the campaign. We have made it clear right from the start that we welcome input from all sides of the political spectrum, that has not changed and nor will it.

James Titcomb

Swarthoull

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