NEW immigration statistics reinforce steadily accumulating evidence that Brexit, rejected by Scotland, has failed to deliver on its wild promises.

A UK majority voted to leave the EU to ‘take back control of our borders’; Leave voters seem angry and confused that legal migration has soared to three times the level before we left the EU. East Lothian’s clear majority, however – and Scotland’s – voted to remain in the EU, where peace and the free movement of people, goods and services had underpinned UK prosperity for 40 years.

A hard Brexit ditched freedom of movement; the Office of Budget Responsibility estimates Brexit will wipe £100bn from UK finances and one Tory ploy to reduce migration is to cap visas for health and care workers, thereby excluding their vital contribution to crucial services. If this legislative incompetence is what a successful Brexit, taking back control of our borders, our money and our laws, looks like after seven years – what would calamitous failure look like?

Suella Braverman’s “dream” of flights taking off for Rwanda is every desperate migrant’s nightmare. The reality is this: if every small boat arrival had – somehow – been removed to Africa over 12 months to June 2023, the UK would still have accommodated over 1.1 million legal migrants, over 900,000 from outside the EU. Only a very small percentage of migrants are small boat arrivals. If Westminster concentrated more on policing criminal trafficking gangs and less on demonising migrants, this crisis could be managed. The Tory Rwanda obsession is a smokescreen, obscuring abject failure to develop the coherent, enlightened and effective migration policies that an independent Scotland would pursue as a priority.

Dangerous and doomed UK policy feeds far-right extremism currently infecting our nearest neighbours – the Netherlands and Ireland. Dublin police characterised recent riots as due to “a hooligan lunatic faction driven by a far-right ideology”. The Tánaiste (Eire’s Deputy PM) affirmed: “This is not who we are as a people: Ireland has built a modern and inclusive society.” It is also Scotland’s ambition as a modern European nation sharing what the Tánaiste called “the need to respect difference and the dignity of every human being”. Trampling over human rights leads only to darkness and destruction, and has no place in this county.