Nicola Sturgeon slams Michael Gove for ‘telling fibs’ on immigration

SNP leader accuses Leave campaigner of lying about Holyrood powers after Brexit


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused Michael Gove of ‘fibbing’ after he claimed Scotland would somehow have control over immigration in the event of Brexit.

Gove, a Scot by birth, made the comments during an interview with BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland as he travelled north of the border for the first time during the referendum campaign.

Pressed by the host Gary Robertson on how many people would be allowed to come to Scotland under the Leave campaign’s plans for a points-based immigration system, the Justice Secretary responded:

‘It would be for Scotland to decide because under the proposals that we have put forward we believe that a points-based immigration policy – similar to the one that was actually put forward as a model for an independent Scotland by Nicola Sturgeon – would be the right approach.’

He continued:

‘If, in the course of the negotiations [post-Brexit], the Scottish Parliament wants to play a role in deciding how a particular visa system could work, much as it works in other parts of the European Economic Area, then that is something we’ll look into.

Ultimately, the numbers who would come in the future would be decided by the Westminster parliament and the Holyrood parliament working together.’

In response, Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to describe Gove’s proposition as a ‘fib and a half’. She went on:

She added:

For her part, the SNP Leader has today argued that Scotland could be crucial to determining the final outcome of the referendum.

She argues that increasingly tight polling between the Leave and Remain sides should ‘act as a wake-up call to anyone who assumed that it would be an easy win for the Remain side’. She went on to conclude:

‘But I still believe there is a majority for an ‘in’ vote across the UK – especially if everyone who believes in our place in Europe turns out to vote.

And Scotland’s voice could help to make the difference in this contest, especially if the result is as close as some polls suggest.

While I take nothing for granted, I believe Scotland will vote strongly to stay part of Europe – and that Scottish voters could increase the margin of victory for Remain.’

Meanwhile, the Scottish Green Party has written to Scots voters, urging them to vote to remain on June 23. Summing their case up, the letter concludes:

‘In all of human history, we have only built one cross-continental, democratic institution to mediate between independent countries.

That institution has helped us build peace, win rights at work and at home, and protect our environment.

Building such an extraordinary institution has been hard, and often frustrating.

But at the very moment that we are facing vast global challenges, now is not the time to tear it down.’

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. 

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