Brexit could have "serious consequences" for the recruitment and retention of health workers in East Renfrewshire, it is feared.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament yesterday, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the decline in the number of people choosing to work in the UK is a "significant concern".

And there are concerns this could have a knock-on effect in areas such as East Renfrewshire.

Ms Freeman criticised the UK Government's proposals to introduce a salary threshold of at least £30,000 a year for new migrants.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in November showed EU migration to the UK has fallen by 85,000 since the 2016 referendum.

"This decline is of significant concern," Ms Freeman said.

"Curtailing free movement of EU nationals in the UK as a result of Brexit will have potentially serious consequences for the recruitment and retention of health and social care workers in Scotland."

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She added: "It's important to emphasise yet again that it is in our interest to attract people from across the EU to visit, work and study and live in Scotland, and that freedom of movement isn't a burden at all for us but a boon and something that we should not celebrate its ending."

Ms Freeman said the majority of jobs in the social care sector were likely to fall below the estimated threshold, and that curtailing freedom of movement would "damage our health and social care service at a time of anticipated additional demand".

She said: "In addition, the immigration proposals from the UK Government will not assist us at all and will simply undermine not only why we should not be leaving the European Union, but immigration should be in the hands of this Parliament."