The SNP has today called on Theresa May to publicly welcome the contribution of EU nationals living in the UK following the outcome of the EU referendum like her cabinet colleague Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has done.
SNP MP Stephen Gethins pressed Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to echo statements made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - in the hours after the referendum vote and numerous times since – that underline the valuable contribution EU nationals make to life in Scotland and how welcome they are.
Philip Hammond said that he was happy to recognise the role of EU nationals and reiterate that they are welcome in the UK while giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee earlier today (Thursday) on foreign policy developments.
Stephen Gethins MP, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson, said:
“EU nationals living and working in Scotland make an outstanding contribution to life in Scotland but many are understandably anxious and concerned by the UK-wide vote to leave the EU and what that will mean for them and their families.
“It is shameful that is has taken two weeks since the EU referendum vote for anyone in the UK Government to echo Nicola Sturgeon's reassuring comments. Theresa May as Home Secretary has failed to guarantee the rights of EU families living and working here to stay in the UK – her failure to do so is completely shameful and has only added to the uncertainty many people now face.
“And when MPs debated a motion on EU nationals living in the UK earlier this week, only a handful of Tories voted in favour of supporting them – which is an abysmal way for the UK Government to treat those who call the UK home.
“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and I’m pleased that Nicola Sturgeon has made it absolutely clear how lucky Scotland is to have so many people from all over the EU call Scotland home.
“The Scottish Government is doing everything possible to protect Scotland’s place in the EU – it is vital that the UK Government respects those who have decided to make a life in Scotland and I call on Theresa May to promise that she will do everything in her power to protect their status here in the UK.”