The subject under consideration was, given that different regions of the UK have different requirements from the immigration system, should there be a regionalised approach to our migration system. Whilst this discussion has been shown into sharp focus by Brexit, it is of much wider import. This is something which has previously been considered in the context of Post Study Work visas by my colleague David Walker.
The answer from all on the panel was a clear yes. Professor Christina Boswell from the University of Edinburgh, Angela Gawel of the Canadian High Commission and Chris Murray from IPPR spoke of how regional migration systems operate. What was remarkable was the level of consensus in such uncertain times with the politicians present Michael Russell MSP, Jackson Carlaw MSP and Paul Sweeney MP being broadly in accord of the positives of migration and how Scotland would benefit from a regionalised approach to immigration. Whilst all contributors gave food for thought my lasting impression of the evening was Michael Russell's reference to William McIlvanney's phrase, we're "a mongrel nation" and of that we should be proud. A most stimulating evening which I gather has been recorded: I would encourage anyone with an interest in the topic to listen to this.