London – The Scottish National Party on Sunday promised to pay any post-Brexit charges for EU citizens working in Scotland’s public sector, if they are imposed under the British government’s proposed registration scheme.
“The SNP believes that the United Kingdom should remain in the EU single market and continue to benefit from the free movement of people,” the party said in a position paper published at the start of its annual conference.
This is the only way
“This is the only way to absolutely guarantee the ongoing rights of EU citizens and their family members, and British people living and working elsewhere in the EU,” it said.
If the British government implements a proposed system to grant EU citizens “settled status” after Brexit, the SNP-led Scottish government wants to “take concrete steps to help.”
Meeting any costs for EU citizens working in the public sector would “help us to retain the doctors, nurses and other valued public servants that we need,” it said.
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the plan to assist EU workers in the public sector.
We want them to stay here
“Why? Because it helps individuals, it helps us keep vital workers in the NHS (national health service) and public services, and it sends a message to EU nationals that we want them to stay here because we welcome them,” Sturgeon said.
More than 60 per cent of voters in Scotland opted to stay in the EU in last year’s Brexit referendum, while 52 per cent voted for Brexit across Britain and Northern Ireland.