This week's Community Column is written by Argyll adn Bute's SNP MP, Brendan O'Hara.

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Rural Scotland is facing a crisis of depopulation. And it’s a crisis that is only going to be exacerbated by a hard-Brexit; one that removes the UK from the single market, thereby denying us the opportunity to attract young, ambitious people from across the European Union into Argyll and Bute.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. And that’s why business leaders, the Scottish Government, politicians across the political spectrum, academics and policy think-tanks are of the view that it would benefit the whole of the UK if the government at Westminster adopted a more flexible approach to immigration, as happens in many other countries, including Canada and Australia where specific work visas are given out for areas of specific need.

That’s why last week at Prime Minister’s Questions I asked Theresa May to meet me, and the chief executive of Argyll and Bute Council, to discuss his proposal that Argyll and Bute becomes a pilot area for such a scheme.

This bold and innovative move by the council illustrates the deep concerns we share in a constituency that relies on EU workers for so many of our economic sectors.

Here in Argyll and Bute it is projected that we’ll lose around four per cent of our population in the next decade. If that happens, we’ll all feel the effects: fewer people means fewer folk spending money in our local shops, fewer kids in our schools, a shortage of staff in our hospitals, and less demand for essential services – all leading to cuts in services for those of us who remain.

I fear we’ll face a vicious spiral of decline unless we abandon the UK’s one-size-fits-all immigration policy; a policy that would be deeply damaging to Argyll and Bute. That is why I fully support the council chief executive’s offer to pilot a scheme here in Argyll and Bute; one that meets our specific needs.

And I urge everyone in Argyll and Bute to support this initiative because although we may not agree how to make Scotland better, we all agree we must.