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Michael Gove: Brexit could lead to devolving immigration

Nicola Sturgeon has called the claim a "fib and a half" by the justice secretary.

Britain leaving the European Union could 'potentially' lead to the Scottish Parliament receiving 'some' powers of immigration, Michael Gove has said.

The justice secretary made a series of comments on the subject on Monday morning in Glasgow.

Gove told BBC Radio Scotland the country receive more devolved powers including immigration if the Untied Kingdom votes to leave the European Union on June 23.

He said: "Holyrood would be strengthened if we left the EU.

"The Scottish Parliament would have new powers over fishing, agriculture, over some social areas and potentially over immigration."

The Conservative MP also raised the subject at a briefing with journalists later on Monday.

Gove said Scotland could "discuss" with the UK Government what "needs" the country has over immigration.

On Saturday, the Scottish Vote Leave director Tom Harris released a letter he sent to the First Minister calling on her to take a "pro-active" role in post-Brexit negotiations to secure immigration powers.

The justice secretary raised the case of the Brain family from Australia who are currently campaigning to remain in Scotland after failing to meet visa requirements.

Gove said: "Tom has written to the First Minister outlining that in the event of our voting to Leave we can discuss with Holyrood any specific needs Scotland might have.

"It is already the case other parts of the British Isles, like the Isle of Mann, that have a bespoke approach to this issue. I don't want to pre-empt any conversations we might have later.

http://stv.tv/news/politics/1357137-leave-campaign-calls-for-scottish-way-of-handling-migration/ | default

"One thing of course which have has caught the public's imagination is the case of the Brain family.

"Australian, came specifically to work in the Highlands because of the Highlands' need for expertise and skills from outside, and, now they face the prospect of leaving. I think if we were outside the European Union we could fashion an immigration policy which would be of interest both to areas like the Highlands and to families like the Brains."

When asked how a post-Brexit devolved immigration system could work at the briefing Gove said "the best thing he could do" is refer the room to Harris' letter.

The First Minister called Gove's claims on devolving immigration as a "fib and a half".

Sturgeon went on to tweet that politicians who opposed Scottish independence in 2014 but now promise further powers which would have been gained from independence "shouldn't be trusted".

The SNP has been approached for a formal reply to Gove's comments.

You can see more of STV's interview with Michael Gove at 11pm on Scotland Tonight.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

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