Scotland has taken in more refugees than any other part of UK
The figures, released today by the Home Office, revealed the distribution of Syrian refugees across the UK under Westminister’s expanded resettlement programme.
Scotland took more than a third of the 1602 people who were granted asylum in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme, between October last year and March.
Local authorities north of the border accepted 610, including 68 in Renfrewshire, 58 in Argyll and Bute and 53 in Edinburgh. The most welcoming local authority in the UK was Coventry, where 105 Syrians were resettled in the six-month period, while 171 people have been taken by councils in Yorkshire and Humberside.
The first group of refugees arrived in Glasgow in November and since then more than 600 refugees have settled in council areas across Scotland from Aberdeen to the island of Bute.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) published a report this week showing net long-term migration to the UK from the EU has reached the joint highest level on record,
The measure - the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving- was estimated at 184,000 in 2015. This is equal to the previous peak - recorded in the 12 months to March last year.
Meanwhile, overall net international migration increased to 333,000 - the second highest recorded.
It is 3,000 short of the all-time high posted last year and three times the Conservative Government’s target level.
Statisticians said the rise was the result of a fall in emigration, with immigration at a similar level to the previous year.
EU net migration was up compared to the previous year, when it stood at 174,000, but this was not a “statistically significant” change.
The apparent rise was largely due to an increase in net migration of citizens from Bulgaria and Romania, from 44,000 to 58,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK has been at the forefront of the international response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
“There has been a tremendous amount of goodwill from local authorities and the private, non-governmental and voluntary sectors as well as from individuals across the UK.
“We are very grateful for all the local authorities who have offered their support and will continue to work with them to identify further opportunities to resettle Syrian families.”