Monday, 06 January 2020 17:03

TORIES' DAMAGING BREXIT BILL RISKS INFLICTING “HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT 2.0”

TORIES' DAMAGING BREXIT BILL RISKS INFLICTING “HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT 2.0”

SNP TABLE AMENDMENTS SEEKING TO PROTECT EU CITIZENS’ RIGHTS FROM LOOMING BREXIT THREAT

The SNP has warned that Boris Johnson's damaging Brexit bill risks inflicting "hostile environment 2.0" – with the party ramping up calls on opposition parties to back the SNP's amendments which seek to protect and strengthen the rights of EU nationals in the UK.

With Parliament returning from recess and MPs set to begin voting on the next stage of the Withdrawal Agreement tomorrow, the SNP has tabled amendments to challenge the UK government's plans, which include - 
 

  • Securing the rights of EEA and Swiss citizens residing in the UK automatically, rather than having to apply, and also having the right to a physical document proving their status. The amendment would prevent UK government ministers from amending immigration rules (other than by primary legislation) to restrict the range of persons eligible for leave to enter or remain in the UK. 
  • Ensuring that people entitled to benefit from the citizens’ rights protections in the Bill did not miss out on registering as a citizen of the UK because of the level of fee currently charged.
  • Removing the power being provided to ministers to make regulations about judicial review of certain immigration decisions.


The SNP's Immigration spokesperson, Stuart McDonald MP, said:

“As the next stage of Boris Johnson's damaging Brexit bill comes before Parliament, it is vital that opposition parties back the SNP in protecting the rights of our fellow EU nationals who have made Scotland and the UK their home and who now face being plunged into further instability.

“We cannot allow this reckless, right-wing Tory government to push ahead with its Brexit plan which risks inflicting hostile environment 2.0 – this time on EU nationals who live and work in the UK, including in our vital NHS.

“Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement will drag Scotland out of the EU against our will. It will leave Scotland economically and culturally poorer, and at a competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland. The agreement – based on a future relationship to be agreed with the EU – also leaves a huge threat of a No-Deal scenario in December.

“Time is fast running out and with less than one month to go till Brexit day, the damage this deal will do shows why people in Scotland have the right to choose their own future.

“Boris Johnson has no mandate to drag Scotland out of the EU and he must instead recognise Scotland's democratic right to choose a better future with independence.”

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