Wednesday, 09 January 2019 13:52



SNP MPs have piled pressure on Theresa May to scrap the UK government's shameful policy of forcing millions of EU nationals to pay to stay in the UK - under threat of deportation after Brexit.

Grilling the Prime Minister in the Commons today, Drew Hendry MP asked what would happen to EU nationals who were not registered by the Tory deadline of December 2020, and said the threatening tone from the UK Government “feels less like a hostile environment and more like a xenophobic one” as friends, neighbours and colleagues face being forced to pay just to stay in their own homes.

Over Christmas, the UK Home Office issued a widely-condemned tweet about the Tories' EU settlement scheme, under which EU nationals who already live in the UK must apply to remain here, and face charges of £65 per adult and £32.50 per child to do so - or face deportation by the UK government.

The SNP Scottish Government has committed to meeting the fees for EU citizens working in the devolved public sector in Scotland - and the SNP is campaigning for the UK government to scrap the fees and deadline altogether.

Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:

“The Tories must scrap their shameful pay-to-stay policy, which threatens millions of EU nationals living in the UK with deportation from their own homes, and is part of an increasingly xenophobic environment being created by the UK government.

"This toxic Tory policy, which puts a price and deadline on the rights of EU nationals’ who already live and work here, is another example of the UK government's damaging hostile approach to migrants who contribute so much to our country.

"There are around 235,000 EU nationals in Scotland. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family members. Many have lived here for decades, with children who know no other home - and they all deserve to be treated with respect not contempt.

"The UK government must scrap this appalling policy now, and devolve powers over immigration to the Scottish Parliament so we can build a system that meets Scotland's needs and values."

A video of Drew Hendry MP's question and Theresa May's response can be viewed here:

‘Critics hit out at Home Office video for EU nationals’ -

‘Furious MPs accuse Home Office of browbeating EU nationals into registering in the UK with ‘threatening’ and rip-off advert’ -

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