Maggie Chapman: As a migrant, I’ll leave the UK – but Scotland’s coming with me 


Scottish Green co-convener: ‘I am a citizen of the world, and proud of it.’ 

MIGRANT COMMUNITIES in Scotland will back independence to escape Tory xenophobia, according to the co-convener of the Scottish Greens Maggie Chapman. 

Chapman, also the rector of Aberdeen University, told day two of the party’s conference in Perth that as a migrant to the country she would be proud to be a citizen of an independent Scotland. 

She hit out at the “racist” values of the Tory cabinet and the party’s recent dog-whistle attacks on EU and international citizens living, working, and studying in the UK. 

Chapman told the conference in Perth: “When Theresa May, as the prime minister of the UK says that I, as an immigrant, am not welcome in Britain anymore – that those born abroad are not welcome. You know what, Theresa? I’m happy to leave. Many of us here are happy to leave. And we're going to take Scotland with us.”

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Chapman, who grew up in South Africa before moving to Scotland in the 90s to study, said Tory xenophobia has created a fresh urgency to push towards an independent Scotland. 

At the recent Tory conference a series of ministers, including Theresa May, Amber Rudd, Liam Fox and David Davis, attacked migrants’ right to live and work in the UK. Trade minister Liam Fox said that migrants who “consume the wealth of the country” were not welcome. 

“I am a citizen of the world and I would be delighted to be a citizen of an independent Scotland.” Maggie Chapman

Millions of EU citizens have also received no guarantee over their futures following the Brexit vote. Hate crimes have surged since the UK vote to leave the EU. 

Chapman added: “As Greens we are proud to be citizens of the world: and we will work to be citizens of an internationalist, welcoming Scotland. A Scotland that works for social justice throughout the world. A Scotland committed to fighting climate change, to working for peace and defending human rights. 

“In her speech to Tory Party Conference Theresa May said anyone who was a citizen of the world was a citizen of nowhere. I have a message for her: I am a citizen of the world and I would be delighted to be a citizen of an independent Scotland.”

Research following the first independence referendum found that a majority of EU citizens in Scotland rejected independence, with membership of the EU one of the major campaign concerns. 

Over 170,000 EU citizens would have a vote in a further referendum. 

Picture courtesy of Scottish Greens 

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