ANNABELLE EWING says a new Scottish Visa could help Fife avoid a "demographic crisis" that could hammer public services like the NHS.

The Cowdenbeath MSP has backed the proposals amid concerns that post-Brexit immigration controls could exacerbate skills gaps and labour shortages.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new plan where migrants who want to live in Scotland could choose to apply for a Scottish Visa, or one of the existing immigration routes offered by the UK Government.

Ms Ewing said Brexit "poses a huge risk to our economy and public services" and added: "It is vital for this area’s future prosperity that we continue to attract people to live and work here.

"Migrants make hugely valuable contributions to our economy, public services, and communities – and that must continue.

“The one-size-fits-all approach by the UK government ignores Scotland’s needs and could put at risk our ability to fund public services like the NHS.

“UK government proposals to end freedom of movement and put in place inappropriate salary and skills requirements for all migrants would be disastrous for our economy and society and would risk acute labour shortages."

A cross-party report by Holyrood’s Finance Committee found that, without additional powers for the Scottish Parliament, Scottish public spending may be put at risk by demographic changes.