Scotland seeks immigration powers / Breton president thinks about “right to differentiation”

2 to 8 February

Scottish government says it is worried for sustainabilty of social services in rural areas if immigration is cut.
Scottish government says it is worried for sustainabilty of social services in rural areas if immigration is cut. Author: DJ Hughson
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. Macron’s speech in Corsica this week has sparked reaction among other stateless peoples. In Brittany, the president of the Regional Council has taken the opportunity to demand the “right to differentiation”. Also in the line of implementing policies adapted to the circumstances of each territory, the Scottish government is considering a discussion paper which sets devolution of immigration powers as a goal. And in Northern Cyprus, a four-party deal has allowed a supporter of reunification to become the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot government.


Scotland to seek immigration powers.According to a new Scottish government discussion paper, “an overwhelming case” exists to have a “Scotland-specific system” for migration. The report says Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom have different migratory needs. It claims that a decline in immigration would be harmful to Scotland, as the country would risk losing up to 10 billion pounds per year by 2040 and it would aggravate problems in rural areas of the country, greatly affected by depopulation.

The SNP —the party in government— believes that continued arrival of immigrants will help strengthen the country’s economy and social services, and fears that a hard Brexit would restrict the settlement of new residents from the European Union. The party also argues that migration policies should facilitate family reunification.


Brittany eyes “right of differentiation”. Head of Brittany Regional Council Loïg Chesnais-Girard believes Emmanuel Macron’s speech this week, in which the French president opened the door to recognizing the specificity of Corsica, “is an opportunity” for Brittany to “assert its convictions and proposals”. Chesnais-Girard, a member of the Socialist Party, refers to the “right of differentiation and fiscal autonomy”. Such a right would entail the enforcement of legal regulations in different ways depending on the territory. Main Breton pro-autonomy party UDB has however insisted that what is needed is a constitutional reform so that “any territory wishing so can access full and complete autonomy” with law-making powers.

New coalition government in Northern Cyprus. Four left-wing and right-wing political parties have agreed on the formation of a new Turkish Cypriot cabinet. Prime Minister is Tufan Erhurman of social democratic Turkish Republican Party (CTP), which favours Cyprus reunification, in contrast to the former PM’s party, the UBP, which supports a two-state solution. The Northern Cyprus government formation has coincided in time with the re-election of Nicos Anastasiades, 3 February, as president of Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot leader has said reunification of the country is its main goal. But Anastasiades has set the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island as a condition for any final deal. Peace talks have been suspended since July 2017.