Edwina Currie: Scots should move to England to 'man hospitality industry'

24 July 2021, 15:13

Currie and Blackford lock horns over Brexit and strain on workforce

By Seán Hickey

The ex-Tory MP suggested that migrating south would stop Scottish people being 'dependent' on benefits.

The leader of the SNP in Westminster Ian Blackford took exception to comments made by former Conservative MP Edwina Currie when expressing fears over the impact of Brexit on Scotland.

Iain Dale spoke to the pair on the second anniversary of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister, where Mr Blackford described the PM as reckless, especially when considering Scotland's position in the union.

Ms Currie offered a solution: "If you're really that worried about things that we could take from Scotland, and you're worried about possible unemployment and so on, you know, in much of England we're desperately short of people to man the hospitality industry – the cafés, the restaurants, the pubs, if you've got anybody spare, send them down here.

Read More: Scottish independence debate reignites 'in coming weeks', says SNP's Ian Blackford

"They will have the freedom to work without having to be so dependent on universal credit and they'll have a good career in the future."

Ian Blackford's scathing attack on Boris Johnson's leadership

Read More: Edwina Currie: Hancock is a 'superb' Health Secretary and shouldn't resign

Mr Blackford sighed and insisted that the issue is elsewhere, adding that Scotland has its own issues with filling vacancies.

"The main reason we're struggling is we don't have the same access to labour as we has when we were in the European Union."

"These are self-induced problems" he insisted, telling Iain that "we're paying a price for the political dogma of Boris."

Ms Currie accused the SNP Westminster leader of "still fighting the referendum campaign," and when Mr Blackford argued that he had good reason to given 62% of Scots voted remain, the former Tory MP argued that the SNP didn't win the Brexit debate in Scotland.