Ministers agree to Greer's call to look at risk of post-Brexit people-trafficking

Scottish Ministers today (10 Jan) agreed to a Green MSP's call to look into the threat of increased people-trafficking as a result of the UK Government's proposed post-Brexit immigration system.

The current system for ‘third country’ or non-EEA nationals, defined by the Conservatives’ ‘hostile environment’ policies, has been found to make tackling human trafficking harder and is regularly exploited by traffickers. With the extension of this system to cover some 450 million European nationals, expectations are that the number of human trafficking victims in the UK could increase.

Scottish Greens Europe spokesperson Ross Greer MSP today (10 Jan) pressed External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop on the point, saying:

"The UK Government's hostile environment system is abused by traffickers and by widening the restrictions on immigration to include people from Europe, the Tories are going to make matters worse. It's important that while we fight these proposals we also prepare for impact, and that is why I asked the Cabinet Secretary about ensuring support services for victims are prepared and resourced for the sadly likely increase in need.

"I'm pleased that Fiona Hyslop committed to take this up with the Justice Secretary and look forward to their reporting back. The Westminster Government's immigration proposals will be economically devastating for Scotland but we cannot lose sight of those who will truly be the victims of these short-sighted and racist plans. They will need our support.”