Sadly in these days of dangerous populism, we have a UK Government which seems to favour sloganeering over constructive action.

Astonishingly, it is not only the acolytes of Boris Johnson and co. who lap up this rhetoric at face value. Many sections of the media do too.

Like last week, when we had the well-trailed announcement of a move to an Australian-style, points -based system of immigration in the wake of Brexit. This is entirely in keeping with the Conservatives’ pledge to “bear down” on immigration which is, sadly, what Brexit seems to be all about for so many people, including some Cabinet members of course, when all the façade is stripped away.

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Mr Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings have shown themselves to be masters of glib phrases which whip up the masses, and give fuel to the British nationalist fervour. So, in keeping with the current Conservative style, it was no surprise to hear the immigration move described by Home Secretary Priti Patel as a way to stop a flow of “cheap, low-skilled labour”.

What was lamentable about this, apart from her obvious monumental mischaracterisation of the issue, was that many media outlets reported as a fact the message coming from Ms Patel and the Conservatives that their immigration policy would end cheap labour. Without any apparent critical thinking.

It was not, in some places, reported as a claim. There were no quotation marks around this phrase of intolerance: cheap labour.

This sorry saga brought back memories of how uncritically the “Get Brexit Done” slogan of Messrs Johnson and Cummings was accepted in the run-up to the General Election.

Of course, Mr Johnson got his technical Brexit on January 31.

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However, the impression given that getting Brexit “done” on January 31 would be the end of the matter could not be further from the truth.

The bulk of the dismal effects on the economy and society have yet to be felt, and people need to be aware of this.

The major economic damage of leaving the European single market – projected by the Tories in their own forecasts – will unfold after the end of the transition period, over years and decades.

Perhaps, after the Conservatives are done pointing the finger at immigrants (who it should be noted provide a major boost to the economy and society in contrast to Tory Brexiter messaging), this UK Government will find someone else to blame. Probably the European Union again. After all, the Tories succeeded in persuading those whose lives have been blighted for years by Conservative austerity that it was the EU which was to blame.

The actual story of immigration in the UK has, in stark contrast to the Tory fantasy, not been one of cheap labour.

Free movement of people within the European single market has been hugely beneficial to Scotland and the UK as a whole.

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There seems to be a lack of understanding, no doubt a wilful one in many cases, of the reality that the UK benefits greatly from the contribution of immigrants in all sorts of jobs.

A tight labour market has seen many immigrants take on labour-intensive jobs which some people in the UK have seemed reluctant to do and for which there have been huge shortages of workers.

Those who have moved here from other EU countries have done so to work in all sorts of jobs, at all skill levels, across a raft of sectors, including academia, tourism, healthcare, information technology and engineering, to name just a handful.

It has been very straightforward for these people to come here and provide this great contribution. It has also been unbureaucratic and crucially, until former prime minister David Cameron’s ill-judged decision to hold the referendum on EU membership, people from elsewhere in the bloc found a stable and certain environment in the UK. Not now though.

The Tory Brexit stance has already seen many people from other EU countries move from the UK to elsewhere in the single market, where there is more certainty and greater tolerance. And people in other EU countries who might have come to the UK had it not been for the Brexit vote have not done so. This applies to people who would have enough points under the new system and those who would not. The plunge in net immigration from other EU countries since the Brexit vote will have already cost the UK economy greatly. And there will be much worse to come when the reality of Brexit manifests itself with the end of the transition period.

Meanwhile, the righteous anger of those who believe they are among those being dismissed as “cheap labour” is entirely justified.

Take, for example, those working in the care or broader health sector.

These people are doing very demanding jobs which are crucial to society. And we should bear in mind that these jobs are far more valuable to society than many higher-paid posts.