Nicola Sturgeon hopes for another Scottish independence referendum
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Over the past year, both the UK and EU have been reeling from the effects of a global fossil fuel energy crisis. Fuelled by a post-pandemic boom in demand, and aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy bills for average households have reached record highs. To get the country out of the energy crisis, the Government has launched its Energy Security Strategy which looks to end its reliance on foreign imports of oil and gas.
However, Mr Brown, the SNP’s spokesman on Energy and Climate Change, has pointed the finger at the end of the free movement of skilled workers as one of the contributing factors as well.
The MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun noted that in order to achieve the goals set out in the Prime Minister’s energy security strategy, the UK needs to have a plan in place.
He said: “We need to have a supply chain that is available.
“We need to make sure we have access in terms of skills, development and training.”
He added that aside from rapidly training skilled workers to help in building renewable energy projects, the UK could also consider “bringing in engineers from elsewhere, outside the UK”.
Mr Brown said: “At the moment the Government has ended the free movement of people from the EU.
“We’re going to have to look at emigration because emigration could also help grow the technology, which is actually better for the UK in the long run because it helps to revive the economy.
“It actually grows your tax base, it grows your wealth, and therefore you can have an emigration policy that doesn’t prevent that from happening.”
The SNP has an official stance that supports rejoining the European Union, adding that Scotland should be “a full independent member of the EU”.
Their statement says: “By rejoining the EU we will create jobs and regain full access to the European Single Market, which is seven times the size of the UK.”
Mr Brown added: “[Rejoining the EU] It could help with the energy crisis, it could potentially bring in skilled labour that works better with the skilled labour you’ve got here.
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“You continue to grow the workforce, and on the back of that, you have a training programme and a development program to continue to bring up through education and college and university sector to get them ready to move into the industry as it grows.
“You’re increasing your homegrown talent, but you can do that by working with imported engineers as well.”
During the Brexit referendum, a majority of people in Scotland voted to remain in the EU, which is why the possibility of rejoining the bloc could play a factor in the SNP’s Scottish independence bid.
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