Angus Robertson insisted Theresa May’s promise to cut net migration down to the “tens of thousands” would “damage” the Scottish economy.
Speaking to Mishal Husain on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the politician warned waves of EU migrants were already leaving the UK.
He said: “People are now leaving, a report last week showed that tens of thousands of people from elsewhere in the European Union are returning home.
The host then interrupted and asked Mr Robertson to clarify his stance on immigration.
Angus Robertson and Mishal Husain clashed over immigration during the heated exchange
What we certainly don’t want is a restrictive immigration policy imposed on us by Westminster, which is going to damage our economy
Do you want more immigrants to come to Scotland or not?” she asked.
The pro-EU politician replied: “We want the opportunity for people to come and to go.
“And what we certainly don’t want is a restrictive immigration policy imposed on us by Westminster, which is going to damage our economy and our public services.”
Husain the pushed Mr Robertson on what he thought was an appropriate level of immigration.
Snap election 2017: The pictures politicians may not want you to see Sat, May 27, 2017
Protests, fights and daleks, it's all happening as the politicians hit the campaign trail for the snap election
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Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Hackney Marshes Football Pitches, to highlight Labour's manifesto commitment to ensure 5% of the Premier League's television rights income is diverted to the grassroots game, during a General Election campaign
She fired: “If you want people to come, how many immigrants would you want to come to Scotland over the next parliament?”
The candidate, standing for reelection in Moray, then lost his cool and blasted: “I’m sorry, you’re not listening to what I’m saying.”
When asked what he meant by wanting people to “come and go”, he replied: “Indeed, you cannot predict how many people are going to leave at the present time because it’s just picking up at the present time.
“What I’m saying to you is, we recognise the contribution people are currently making, both in the private and the public sector.
“And we do not want to lose these people – that is a consequence of the UK policy, where they are saying they’re wanting to reduce immigration by tens of thousands.”