David Mundell pledges to listen to post-study visa decision concerns

David Mundell. Picture: Getty
David Mundell. Picture: Getty
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Scottish Secretary David Mundell has said he may revisit a controversial decision not to bring back post-study visas and told MPs he would “look at any reasonable suggestion to improve the current arrangements” from them.

Mr Mundell made the remarks as he appeared before Westminster’s Scottish Affairs select committee to answer questions on why he ruled out bringing back the visas, which allowed international students to stay in Scotland to work after graduation before they were axed in 2012.

The cabinet minister had said that in a written statement at Westminster that there was “no intention” of allowing their return north of the border.

However, Mr Mundell told the MPs today that he was “sorry” and regretted if his remarks had been interpreted as closing his mind on the issue, which, the SNP-led committee is holding an inquiry on.

Mr Mundell said he would be willing to pass on concerns the committee had about the issue to David Cameron and would “take seriously” any report from the MPs that called for a change to the post-study visa rules.

Mr Mundell said: “We will look at any reasonable suggestion to improve the current arrangements.

“If the report shows that there are measures we can take to improve the situation in Scotland then of course we will take that forward.”

Scottish Affairs committee chairman, Pete Wishart said he was “reassured” that the decision was not “closed” on bringing back post-study visas.