First minister to give face-to-face reassurances to EU nationals in Scotland
THE Scottish Government is to hold an event with EU nationals living in Scotland at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Wednesday.
It will be the first time that EU nationals have been given the chance to meet and discuss the result of the EU referendum with senior members of the Scottish Government and seek reassurance of their position in Scotland.
According to the Scottish Government, EU nationals will "hear the first minister’s commitment to protecting Scotland’s relationship with and place in Europe."
"It is my duty as First Minister to speak on behalf of all Scottish citizens, including those who have chosen to come from other parts of the EU and make Scotland their home." Nicola Sturgeon
As of this week, 450 people have signed up to attend the talk, which will take place after a special European Cabinet in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
According to the Scottish Government, up to 30 different nationalities, including 24 from EU member states, will attend the event to discuss the EU referendum result and what it means for them.
Speaking ahead of the event, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Scotland spoke loudly and clearly when it delivered an unequivocal vote to remain in the EU.
"It is my duty as first minister to speak on behalf of all Scottish citizens, including those who have chosen to come from other parts of the EU and make Scotland their home.
"They have brought a wealth of social, economic and cultural benefits and have enriched our society. And as I said on the day after the referendum, they remain very welcome here.
"My Cabinet and I are determined to provide reassurance and certainty, wherever we can, to those who have come to Scotland and have contributed so valuably.
"Our priority is to protect Scotland’s interests, and the interests of everyone living, working and studying here. That’s why I, alongside my Cabinet, am considering all possible options to protect Scotland’s continuing relationship with and place in Europe for future generations."
Theresa May’s position immediately after the referendum was that the status of the estimated three million EU nationals in the UK, like that of the 1.2 million Britons living in EU countries, would be factored “into negotiations”.
Stung by an outcry at the prospect of EU citizens being treated as "bargaining chips" during the exit process, May’s team sought to revise her policy, saying that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK would be guaranteed – “as long as British nationals living in EU countries have their status guaranteed too”.
"They have brought a wealth of social, economic and cultural benefits and have enriched our society. And as I said on the day after the referendum, they remain very welcome here." Nicola Sturgeon
Following her meeting in July with French president François Hollande, he became the first EU leader to promise that UK nationals living in his country would be welcome to stay. But the UK prime minister refrained from giving a similar guarantee to any EU nationals in the UK.
In the same month, Theresa May had met with Beata Szydło, the Polish prime minister in which she was challenged by the polish leader to save freedom of movement, which gives EU citizens the right to travel freely across the European Union.
In that meeting she told Szydlo that she "wants and expects" the 800,000 Poles living in the UK to remain in the country after Brexit and condemned what she called the "shameful" post-referendum attacks.
Picture of courtesy First Minister of Scotland
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