Gordon MP Richard Thomson is to meet with the UK Government’s Immigration Minister on the need for seasonal workers in the agrifood sector.
The move follows Mr Thomson raising the matter in the House of Commons with Minister of State at the Home Office Robert Jenrick and requesting a meeting.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Richard Thomson MP said:
“The Minister and I will clearly never agree on whether immigration is too high, but we might be able to agree that it is too low when it comes to rural areas and the need for seasonal workers in the agrifood sector, given that a shortage of such workers left millions of pounds of fresh produce to rot in the fields.
“The Scottish Government have called for a bespoke rural visa scheme to help bring the labour that is needed to Scotland. Will the Minister agree to meet me so that we can tease out some of these issues, perhaps free from the pressures to generate headlines in tomorrow’s press?
The Minister responded that he would be happy to meet to discuss the issue in the spirit in which it has been raised.
Commenting afterwards, Richard Thomson MP said:
“This is an important issue, and even more so in the context of security of food supply and being able to get fresh local produce harvested and packed.
“I very much welcome the Minister’s agreement to meet with me to discuss the matter and look forward to what I hope will be a productive discussion away from the heat of the debating chamber.”
Note: Photograph attached shows Richard Thomson MP in the House of Commons Chamber.