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Scottish Political Elites Adopt 'Vow of Silence' Over Immigration Issue

© AFP 2023 / ADRIAN DENNISThe Scottish political class have "adopted a vow of silence" over the issue of immigration during the EU referendum campaign
The Scottish political class have adopted a vow of silence over the issue of immigration during the EU referendum campaign - Sputnik International
The Scottish political class have "adopted a vow of silence" over the issue of immigration during the EU referendum campaign, member of the Scottish Parliament and Labour Party politician Neil Findlay told Sputnik.

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EDINBURGH (Sputnik), Mark Hirst – Findlay, whose own grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants to the UK, added that despite official political silence on the issue, immigration was very much the focus of discussion across wider Scottish society.

"The political class in Scotland appear to have adopted a vow of silence, or a term of agreement between each other where they are all signing up to the same agenda. That makes me naturally very suspicious," Findlay, the Scottish campaign chief for UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said.

The parliamentarian added that "within that political consensus is the massive elephant in the room" that the parties involved have no desire to talk about immigration or the ‘free movement of people.’

"My own grandparents were Lithuanian immigrants to this country and I’m very proud of that lineage in my own family. But the political class in Scotland don’t want to discuss the free movement of people, but on the doorstep it is the most common conversation you will have," Findlay stressed.

The senior Scottish Labour Party figure criticized those on the left who support remaining in the European Union for not properly addressing wider concerns over immigration. Findlay noted that the so-called EU "free movement" policy was not driven by egalitarian ideals, as some on the political left claim, but by the desire of corporations to suppress wage levels.

"Some people would have you believe that the free movement of people is essentially an egalitarian policy that allows you to float around the gatherings in Florence or to visit the museums of Paris, when in actual fact its aim is about driving down wages. That is the whole purpose of the free movement of people," Findlay said.

"Like the free movement of capital it is about money. It’s about maximizing profit, but in order to maximize profit you have to drive down labour costs. For those motivated by profit maximization this ‘free movement’ is their dream policy," Findlay added.

The member of the Scottish parliament said he welcomed immigration because it "enriches our culture and broadens our horizons," but explained the political left needed to seize back the debate from right-wing politicians.

"If Europe was working properly then workers conditions would be protected no matter where they came from within the EU. Workers coming to Scotland would be engaged on exactly the same terms and conditions as workers anywhere else and would be encouraged to join trade unions," Findlay outlined. "That would ensure there would be no advantage for capital to relocate and we avoid that race to the bottom."

UK voters will take part in a referendum on Britain’s future membership of the European bloc that will be held on June 23.

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