MSPs urging rights of EU citizens to be secured after Brexit
The rights of EU citizens living in Stirling must be protected after the UK leaves the European Union.
That’s the message from Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell and the SNP’s Bruce Crawford MSP.
They are both co-hosting a public event today “celebrating” EU citizens living in Stirling.
There are more than 1,000 EU nationals in the region.
Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP, said:
“EU and international citizens make a huge contribution to the culture, economy and life of
communities across the Stirling area.
“With Britain’s imminent exit of the European Union in disarray it is important that we both celebrate the contribution these citizens make to our country and support them in upholding their residency status and legal rights.
“The hostile environment being driven by Theresa May is attempting to drive a wedge between our communities and threatens the prosperity and diversity that EU membership has brought. They are our friends, family and colleagues, we cannot abandon them.
“All EU national citizens and those who support them are welcome to attend this free event.”
Bruce Crawford, SNP MSP for Stirling, said:
“People who have come to our country have paid us the greatest compliment by making our home theirs too. They are a crucial part of the rich tapestry of Scotland.
“The whole Brexit process has been an affront to the immense contribution that they make, and to our society as a whole. From the initial UK Government plans to charge EU nationals a fee in order that they can continue to stay here, to the current policy of requiring each EU citizen to register their right to remain.
“People are understandably concerned about what their future is. It is vital that at this time, local representatives, who are on the side of people who are worried about what Brexit could mean for their future, work together to do what we can to provide assurances, advice and support.
“That’s what this event is all about, and I would encourage local people who are EU nationals to come along.”
Meanwhile, Stirling’s MP has criticised the event, describing it as a “political stunt” – Scottish Conservative Stephen Kerr MP said:
“It is not helpful for this serious issue to be politicised, and the language being used by these MSPs is deliberately attempting to do that.
“People need clear, factual information.
“This can be obtained by organisations such as Citizens Advice or contacting my office.
“Unfortunately it appears that this meeting is more of a political stunt than a genuine attempt to help.”