MPs to visit Skye as part of inquiry

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WESTMINSTER’S Scottish Affairs Committee is taking part in a visit to the Isle of Skye on Monday July 4 as part of its inquiry into the demography of Scotland and the implications for devolution.

During the visit, members will hold a public evidence session at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig where they will look at challenges facing people living in rural communities.

The sessions will focus the on the island’s ageing population, the impact of population growth and how businesses can retain talent in the Highlands and Islands.

Among the panellists will be people at the heart of the local area, including representatives from academia, local government and community groups. The committee will also be hearing from Gregg and Kathryn Brain, whose fight against deportation has made headlines around the world, about their experience of immigrating to Scotland.

Ahead of the visit, committee chairman Pete Wishart said: ‘I am delighted to be coming to Skye to meet the people who live here and understand the challenges they face.

‘It is pleasing that the past few decades have seen steady population growth on the island. However, it is important that we keep investigating policies that enable inhabitants to live fulfilled lives and attract others to move here.

‘I am especially pleased to be hearing from Gregg and Kathryn Brain. During an inquiry such as this it is easy to focus on cold, hard statistics. However, it is equally valuable to hear about the real experiences of those involved in the immigration system, to understand what attracted them to Scotland and hear the challenges they are facing in staying here.

‘Our evidence session is open to the public and I would encourage anyone to come along to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Monday.’

The session begins at 10.30am and runs until 2pm. To register to attend, go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-population-challenges-of-the-highlands-islands-tickets-26147671389.