Plans for a visa surcharge on British employers recruiting people from outside the European Union should not apply to the whole of the UK, it is claimed.

While there is concern in England about the number of skilled professional workers coming from abroad and worried that they could be taking jobs from British people, businesses in Scotland say they need more migrants.

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Jamie Kerr, an immigration lawyer, has called for an emergency summit of Scottish business leaders to discuss the situation and examine whether Scotland can be exempt.

The surcharge has been endorsed by the UK's Migration Advisory Committee and its recommendation for a £5,000 surcharge per employee is expected to come into force later this year.

The Committeeís recommendation that the minimum salary for skilled overseas workers should be increased from £20,800 to £30,000 is also causing concern.

Kerr and business leaders in Scotland believe that these changes to the visa rules for workers from outside of the EU could stunt Scotlandís economic growth and damage the country's competitiveness on the international stage.

The calls come at a time when Scottish political leaders have not given up on the idea of another referendum on independence from the UK. During campaigning for the last vote it was argued that contrary to the view of the UK government, Scotland actually needs more migrant workers.

"These rules are extremely concerning and there is no question that they will stunt Scotlandís economic growth. They will act as a barrier to Scotland attracting the international skills and talent that our businesses need to compete internationally and will ultimately cripple our current economic plans to innovate, internationalise, grow and attract inward investment," said Kerr.

"Their only aim is to cut immigration numbers without regard for the consequences that will flow from that. It will affect the public and private sectors; business large and small as well as all of Scotland's key sectors from engineering to digital, food and drink to healthcare, the third sector and the creative sectors," he explained.

"We all need to come together to tell the UK government that Scotland's economic growth comes before meaningless targets around migration numbers," he added.