Sturgeon tells EU citizens: "this is your home"

5 April 2019, 11:28

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has written an open letter to EU citizens living in Scotland, telling them: "This is your home, you are welcome here and we want you to stay."

In her letter, made available in several different languages, the First Minister wrote that the hardest part of Brexit had been meeting people from the EU who have no certainty over whether they will be able to stay in the country.

The announcement was made as Prime Minister Theresa May wrote to European Council president Donald Tusk on Friday to request an extension to Article 50 until June 30.

The UK is due to leave the EU at the end of next week but Mrs May will now seek to delay Brexit again after her deal was rejected for a third time last week.

Ms Sturgeon said: "As EU citizens in the UK, you have had to endure years of careless indecision on what the future holds for your lives, your careers and your families.

"Many of you have been living in Scotland for several years and have built your lives and raised your families here.

"The hardest part of dealing with Brexit has been meeting EU citizens across Scotland, who want to stay here but who do not know what steps they need to take and whether their rights will be secured."

She added: "The closer we move towards the UK's exit from the European Union, the more real and substantial reassurances about your rights and position in this country you need.

"As the First Minister of Scotland, I want to thank you for the contribution you make to Scotland.

"I am proud to say this is your home, you are welcome here and we want you to stay."

Ms Sturgeon also announced the Scottish Government has established a Stay in Scotland package for EU citizens to help them remain in the country.

The package includes a £250,000 pledge for community-based support across Scotland, the establishment of a support and advice service for EU citizens who have more complex needs or particular challenges and a toolkit for employers, including posters, factsheets, digital content and guides directing EU citizens to further guidance.