Today’s FMQs at Holyrood was dominated by questions on Brexit following the Conservative party conference – which exposed the reality and horror of Theresa May’s plans.
All Holyrood parties, except the Tories, rallied round the First Minister in condemning the thinly-veiled xenophobia from the UK government in a week they proposed firms would be forced to list the number of foreign workers they employ, that doctors from overseas would no longer be welcome and that EU nationals would be used as negotiating “cards” in Brexit bargaining.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon strongly condemned the Tories’ increasingly troubling rhetoric – describing as “wrong, regrettable and deeply irresponsible” that Theresa May is heading for a ‘Hard Brexit’ to appease those on the right-wing of her party.
In an unequivocal rejection of proposals from Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Ms Sturgeon said she would stand “full square behind” any company that refuses to publish numbers and lists of ‘foreign workers’.
Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“Today the First Minister’s message to EU citizens living in Scotland was clear – people who have chosen to make their homes here are welcome here. They make a huge contribution. We want them to stay.
“What a contrast to the hateful and disgusting rhetoric coming from Tory conference in Birmingham this week.
“People in Scotland will be proud to see their parliament standing against the xenophobes and standing up for the inclusive and tolerant society we should all strive for.
“That’s why the First Minister was absolutely right to back any companies which refuse to comply with Tory attempts to force them to list the number of foreign workers they employ – nobody should be ‘named and shamed’ for simply recruiting the skills their business needs to thrive.
“Ruth Davidson was squirming uncomfortably in her seat. Her attempts to ingratiate herself with the hard-line Brexiteers in her own party have backfired spectacularly and today Holyrood united against the hatred and division of the Tory party.”