SNP urge Osborne to stop deportation of Gaelic-speaking boy

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson on the floor of the House of Commons. Picture: PA
SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson on the floor of the House of Commons. Picture: PA
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THE Chancellor has been urged by the SNP to intervene in the case of a seven-year-old boy whose first language is Gaelic, who is facing deportation from Scotland to Australia with his family.

SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson raised the case of Lachlan Brain, who attends a primary school in Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands, calling on George Osborne to speak to the Home Secretary and Prime Minister to “get this sorted out”.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, being taken by Mr Osborne due to David Cameron’s attendance at the G7 in Japan, Mr Robertson said the Government planned to deport the family despite their arrival under a Scottish Government initiative backed by the Home Office.

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The MP for Moray said: “Next week as the Home Secretary is currently briefing him, the Home department plans to deport him and his family despite the fact that he arrived as part of a Scottish Government initiative backed by the Home Office to attract people to live and work in the region.

“This case has been front page news in Scotland and been repeatedly raised in the House. What does the Chancellor have to say to the Brain family and the community who want them to stay?”

Mr Osborne replied: “Well as I understand it the family don’t meet the immigration criteria. Well, the Home Secretary says she’s very happy to write to him on the details of the specific case.”

Mr Robertson hit out at Mr Osborne’s short response, accusing him of knowing “nothing about it” and describing it as “not good enough”.

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He said: “I’m sorry this has been going on for weeks and that frankly is not good enough. Appeals have been made to the Home Secretary by the First Minister, by the local MP, by the local MSP, by the community, it is wall to wall across the media of Scotland and the Chancellor of the Exchequer clearly knew nothing about it.

“The problem in the Highlands of Scotland, is not immigration, it has been emigration, so even at this late stage, knowing nothing about it, will the Chancellor speak to the Home Secretary, speak to the Prime Minister and get this sorted out.”

Mr Osborne responded: “Well as I say the Home Secretary will write to him on the details of the case, but can I make a suggestion to the SNP? They now have very substantial tax and enterprise powers and if they want to attract people to the Highlands of Scotland why don’t they create an entrepreneurial Scotland that people want to move to from the rest of the UK, where they can grow their business and have a successful life.”