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Scotland's population needs and migration policy: discussion paper

Published: 7 Feb 2018
Part of:
Equality and rights, International

Discussion paper on evidence, policy and powers for the Scottish Parliament in relation to migration.

60 page PDF


60 page PDF


Scotland's population needs and migration policy: discussion paper

60 page PDF



1. Schedule 5, Section B6 Immigration and nationality

2. The programme ran until 2008, when it was mainstreamed into the newly-implemented UK points-based immigration system. Post-study work was ended in 2012 by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government.

3. Available at

4. 2016-based population projections were released in October 2017, covering the period 2016-2041. ONS and NRS also prepared variant scenarios to demonstrate the potential impact of reduced EU migration after Brexit on the population projections, include variants modeled on 50% and zero future EU migration.

5. EU15 refers to the 15 Member States of the EU prior to the 2004 enlargement.

6. "Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts December 2017", available at

7. This modelling was set out in the Scottish Government's response to the MAC call for evidence on the role of EEA workers in the UK labour market, published in November 2017, and in Scotland's Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment, published in January 2018.

8. See the literature overview in the Technical Annex

9. See the economic modelling in the Technical Annex.

10. Evidencing the social and cultural benefits and costs of migration in Scotland, Professor Rebecca Kay ( CRCEES & GRAMNet) and Andrew Morrison ( CSMP), 2013

11. The impacts of migrants and migration into Scotland, Scottish Government, 2016.

12. Immigration policy: basis for building consensus, January 2018

13. Available at

14. Available at

15. The report of the All Party Group on Social Integration, Integration Not Demonisation, was incorrect to describe the Scotland Shortage Occupation List as representing a "level of control over immigration devolved to the Scottish Government."

16. The rest of the UK includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

17. This is particularly true for recent EU migrants. See Wadsworth et al (2016) Brexit and the Impact of Immigration on the UK

18. EU membership and the Bank of England -

19. Migration and productivity: employers' practices, public attitudes and statistical evidence, Rolfe, Rienzo, Lalani, and Portes (2013).

20. Ortega and Peri (2014)

21. Ottovanio et al (2016) Immigration, Trade and Productivity in Services: Evidence from UK Firms


23. Lisenkova et al., 2010. Publication available at

24. A brief description of the Scottish Government CGE model can be found here

25. Given the continuing uncertainty around the future UK migration policy, migration to Scotland and the rest of the UK can be subject to considerable variability. As in previous Scottish Government analysis such as the analysis presented in Scotland's Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment, the ONS principal population projection is used to describe the future demographic path in Scotland and the rest of the UK. This is also in line with the decision taken by the Office for Budget Responsibility ( OBR) which as a result of the Brexit vote changed its central demographic scenario from the high migration to principal projection for its five year economic forecast reflecting lower migration.

26. ONS (2017). Source:

27. ONS (2017). Source:

28. For more details:

29. ONS (2017). Source:

30. ONS (2017). Source:

31. ONS (2017). Source:

32. A detailed description of the Scottish Government single-region CGE model can be found at: