by Jack S. Duncan | Follow on Twitter

The self-interested UKIP led immigration policy of Westminster’s elite will destroy any hope of preserving the rich cultural heritage of rural Scotland. In the Islands being pro-immigration isn’t about bleeding-heart internationalism instead it is about the fight for survival.

It’s no secret that the Highlands and Islands are struggling, but the true depth of the problem is often ignored. Many of Scotland’s islands are losing their young adults at a rate of 10% a decade, or higher. This is, simply, unsustainable. But this negative situation could be made even worse without the free movement of people the EU offers.

This is where UKIP, and the anti-immigration bloc Labour and the Tories seem to be forming, miss the point entirely. Rural Scotland desperately needs more young people if it is to have any hope of continuing to exist in its current form. Once again the needs of Scotland are ignored by the Westminster elite.

Not to mention the extensive EU funding many places in the rural Scotland receive without which local communities would have to abandon many projects that help young and poor people.

When defeated in the economic debate, as they inevitably are the more studies are published on the topic, the favourite argument of the anti-immigration brigade is that they merely want to defend British culture. This argument seems to assume there is some sort of homogeneous British culture that is in need of protection, when the fact is that the Great Britain contains a whole mixture of different minority cultures.

These minority cultures are at serious risk of being absorbed into the greater whole completely. This isn’t due to immigration but migration. If one were to visit a Gaelic medium class on the Isle of Lewis one would find many children of immigrants, from England and the EU and beyond, learning Gaelic and absorbing Gaelic culture. In this way many immigrants actively contribute to the continued existence of this culture.

But even when immigrants choose not integrate they are still invaluable. Rural Scotland needs a workforce infusion, both skilled and unskilled, or it risks collapse. The current blinkered “immigration is bad” conversation, it can hardly be called a debate, in Westminster is letting down Scottish rural communities, perhaps fatally. Unless Scotland’s needs are taken seriously the consequences for our unique cultural heritage will be extreme.