Programme for Scotland

Christina McKelvie MSP raises issue of EU Nationals right to remain during Brexit


The Scottish Government have labelled the UK Conservative Government ‘astonishing’ in their refusal to guarantee the status of EU nationals living in Scotland whilst they trigger Article 50 - beginning the process of the UK leaving the European Union.

Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s place in Europe, Michael Russell MSP, was questioned by Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP, Christina McKelvie, during Topical Question time in the Scottish Parliament.

Christina had sought information from the Scottish Government whether the Conservative UK Government had offered any clarity on the status of EU nationals living in Scotland.

Posing the question to the Minister, Christina stated:

“Does the minister agree that the intransigence of the UK Government in failing to reassure EU nationals who are resident in our nation should be a clarion call to us all that our hard-fought-for rights could be so easily pushed away?”

In his response to the Scottish Parliament, Michael Russell MSP re-stated his astonishment, saying:

“It is absolutely astonishing that today, on the eve of the triggering of article 50, no reassurance has been given to those EU nationals.

“No reassurance has been given, either, to the Scottish and British citizens who are resident in other countries in Europe. Those are two sides of the same coin. It is ridiculous that we are in that situation.”

“Vast amounts of anguish and difficulty are being caused by the Brexit process. That is utterly unnecessary, because the people of Scotland did not vote for it.”

Commenting after the debate, Christina added:

“Whilst the Tories continue to ride roughshod over the will of the Scottish Parliament, families up and down the length of Scotland, who call this country their home, face an uncertain future.  

“EU nationals are being treated with a callous contempt – all they’re asking for is clarity. The Scottish Government has tried repeatedly to give them the assurance that they’re welcome in Scotland - we want them to stay.

“Clearly, the same can’t be said of the Conservative Government.