SCOTLAND will not receive any special power over migration in light of the Brexit vote, Theresa May’s government has made clear, warning that to allow separate controls would harm the integrity of the UK system.

As Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues discuss with Whitehall their input into the UK Government’s Brexit process, the issue of migration and control over borders will be central to the outcome of the intergovernmental discussions.

A month after the EU referendum, the First Minister said in a keynote speech that avoiding limits on migration from Europe was crucial for Scotland; a “country that has an imperative to grow our population” in order to deal with a skills gap in its workforce and an ageing population.

Read more: Mark Carney comments reminder of SNP's 'independence fantasies', Tories claim

This week, she also insisted there was “no clear mandate for a hard Brexit,” and that retaining membership of the European single market with free movement of people appeared the “most obvious consensus position that we should try to work towards”.

Two weeks ago in evidence to the Commons Scottish affairs committee, Alasdair Allan, the Scottish Government’s Europe minister, told MPs that most of Scotland’s population growth was based on inward migration yet the policy remained outwith Edinburgh’s control.

“That is why we need the UK Government to deliver an immigration system that meets Scotland’s needs because we depend so heavily on new Scots to support our economy and our communities,” he said.

In a paper last month, the Scottish Government noted how there were around 173,000 EU citizens living in Scotland, “bringing new skills and expertise and in turn helping to underpin future productivity growth”. But it warned imposing new restrictions on migrant workers could result in a rise in skills shortages and a fall in productivity north of the border.

Read more: Mark Carney comments reminder of SNP's 'independence fantasies', Tories claim

However, the Prime Minister has repeatedly stressed how the June 23 vote was a clear call from the British people that they want curbs on migration and she has told her cabinet that imposing fresh controls is a “red line” in the forthcoming talks with Brussels.

In response to a parliamentary question from the SNP’s Paul Monaghan, Robert Goodwill, the immigration minister, categorically ruled out exempting Scotland from the scope of the UK Government’s target to cut annual net migration to below 100,000; it’s currently more than 300,000.

“Our immigration system is designed to work for the whole of the UK and surveys show that people in Scotland want to see net migration reduced,” said Mr Goodwill.

Noting how there was a Scotland-specific shortage occupation list to accommodate skills shortages north of the border, he added: “Applying substantially different immigration rules to different parts of the UK would complicate the immigration system, harming its integrity, and cause confusion for applicants and difficulties for employers who need the flexibility to deploy their staff to other parts of the UK.”

Mr Monaghan, who represents Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, said he was very disappointed by the minister’s response.

Read more: Mark Carney comments reminder of SNP's 'independence fantasies', Tories claim

“Our businesses rely very heavily on international migration in terms of skills and availability. The UK Government is not working for the benefit of Scotland on this because Scotland should be able to control immigration to ensure our economic needs are adequately met and planned for,” he insisted.

Today, the Institute for Government think-tank warned that planning for Brexit could cost taxpayers £65 million a year and involve hiring at least 500 civil servants. It complained time was being wasted on "political squabbles and turf wars".

Elsewhere, Whitehall has been forced to hand over legal documents - explaining why UK ministers will not allow MPs a vote on Brexit - ahead of a High Court hearing next month, described as the most important constitutional law case in living memory. Ms Sturgeon has suggested the case will “probably” end up at the UK Supreme Court.

Meantime, credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned Britain would suffer a slowdown in economic growth for "several years" following the Brexit vote.