People want policy debate in run-up to referendum

LAST week I took part in a Newsnight debate at the BBC studios in Glasgow on how independence would affect Scotland's ethnic minority communities.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

The panel included experts from within Scotland's ethnic minority community and the audience had members from many of Scotland's diverse communities. It was an informed, representative discussion.

Listening to the audience, it was clear Scotland has been open to the immigrants represented and our migrant population as a whole.

People spoke of the fantastic welcome they received upon moving to Scotland, be that in the 1950s, 1960s or more recently, and how they feel part of the community here.

For me, independence will give Scotland the ability to create more humane, compassionate policies that better reflect Scottish values, in areas such as welfare, the tax system and immigration and asylum.

In an independent Scotland, we would no longer see asylum seekers facing destitution because of the UK Government's flawed asylum and immigration policy.

An independent Scotland would no longer see inhumane dawn raids. We were promised these were a thing of the past, but the UK Border Agency is still happy to carry these out.

We would see an end to child detention. We would definitely not let children be deported to detention centres in England to give the impression of having stopped child detention in Scotland.

These aims were reflected by the Scottish Refugee Council's report, Improving The Lives Of Refugees In Scotland After The Referendum, which concluded an independent Scotland has the opportunity to create a fairer system for people fleeing persecution from their home countries. The report criticised the UK Government's existing approach to the issue.

Taking part in the Newsnight debate also demonstrated people are keen to discuss policy issues in the run-up to the referendum, not just the process.

However, it remains important to have a balanced, clear and legal referendum.

The Electoral Commission's recommendations on the independence referendum question and spending limits were published last Wednesday and were accepted by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon within two minutes.

It is now up to the UK Government and opposition parties to abandon their stance of rejecting pre-referendum talks, in line with the recommendations of the Electoral Commission.

The people of Scotland need clarity to inform their decisions and the UK Government should start giving information.

Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

114499

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
                Games news:                
                               

Putting the world to rights

                               

Gail's Gab

                               

Embrace the sun but be careful

               
Free swim at a Glasgow Club pool for every reader - Click here

Entertainment

Lifestyle

Wedding
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

                Janice Bell                
                               

Janice Bell

                               

You Couldn't Make This Up

                               

I gave up the ghost when it came to changing my kids.

               
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.