In the immediate aftermath of the results of the EU referendum, Stirling MP Steven Paterson wrote to the then-Home Secretary Theresa May to ask what contingency plan the UK Government has for protecting the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
Currently, EU citizens have access to the Freedom of Movement of People mechanism of the European Union and are permitted to live, work, and retire in any EU nation without the need for a visa. Approximately 200,000 other EU citizens live in Scotland alone.
Mr Paterson has since received a reply from Home Office Minister, James Brokenshire, replying on behalf of Mrs May.
Steven Paterson commented:
“The Home Office Minister responded to my call for a plan to safeguard the status of EU citizens living in my constituency with no commitment whatsoever – this is simply not good enough for the many constituents who have been in touch with my office regarding this matter.
“During his last ever Prime Minister’s questions, David Cameron confirmed what many of us on opposition benches feared, that EU citizens may be used as bargaining chips during Brexit negotiations.
“This cannot be the approach that the new Prime Minister and her Government take – it is simply immoral; EU citizens in my constituency and across the country make a massive contribution to our communities and our economy, this is their home and they are welcome here and I will continue to call on the Government to provide leadership in this area.”