South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper is urging the UK Government, and Scottish Secretary, to help support the region’s EU citizens and ask the UK Government to extend the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

Ms Harper, who held an event specifically aimed to assist EU citizens in Dumfries & Galloway, expressed concern that many people have still not applied for the scheme – and more time is needed so eligible citizens can avoid life-changing consequences.

Ms Harper commented;

“It is vital that the UK Tory government heed the warning calls from organisations such as Citizens Advice and the EU Citizens Project and grant post-Brexit residence status to EU nationals in the UK – including those who work for our incredible NHS.

“The Scottish Government believe that should be done automatically – but even if they refuse to do that, the arbitrary 30th June deadline should be cancelled or postponed. Failure to do so will have devastating consequences to Scotland and could have a hugely detrimental impact on a service we have relied on so heavily this year.

“Five years after the Brexit referendum, it is appalling that so many questions remain outstanding about how the government will treat late applicants – urgent clarity is required.

“EU citizens have always played a key role in shaping Scotland and continue to contribute so much today. However, due to the policies implemented by this UK Tory government, many are being detained, deported, refused social security, and encouraged to leave. The SNP will not remain silent on this matter.

“Scotland can do so much better than this, but that can only be achieved with the full powers of independence. Only then can we begin to build the strong, fair, progressive society we know Scotland can be.”

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