The next UK Prime Minister, likely to be Boris Johnson, should not simply dismiss a request to consider piloting a Scottish immigration scheme from the Scottish Government.
Rightly or wrongly, immigration clearly played a significant role in the 2016 Brexit referendum result. Given the closeness of the vote, it is probably true to say that if Leave campaigners had not successfully turned immigration into an issue, the UK would have voted to stay in the European Union.
So politicians like Boris Johnson, expected to win the Conservative leadership election and become Britain’s next Prime Minister, are always going to be wary of offending this particular constituency among the electorate.
As a unionist, Johnson will also be concerned – or, if he is not, he will be reminded of the need to be by Scottish Conservatives, among others – to avoid agreeing to policies that might encourage the break-up of the United Kingdom. So if a letter from the Scottish Government’s immigration minister Ben Macpherson, to his UK counterpart Caroline Nokes, eventually reaches Prime Minister Johnson’s desk in 10 Downing Street, his initial, instinctive reaction would probably be to consign it swiftly to the bin.