Advice centres are to be set up across Scotland to enable EU citizens to obtain information in the months ahead as the UK leaves the EU on March 29th 2019 with a no deal scenario becoming ever more likely.
Funded by the Scottish Government the centres will be able to advise people on their rights and entitlements.
A group of leading academics is also being convened to examine issues around migration and Scotland’s needs for a policy suited to its own demographic.
Fiona Hyslop, External Affairs Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“EU citizens who have made Scotland their home are understandably anxious about their future. They are welcome and valued and play a crucial role in our economy, our public services and our communities.
“Many EU nationals are concerned about still being able to access the NHS, schools for their children, housing and social security post-Brexit and the Scottish Government is committed to supporting EU citizens to enable them to continue to live, work and study in Scotland.
“We are concerned that there is a risk that people will miss out on applying for settled status for a range of reasons including vulnerability, financial problems, lack of awareness and understanding of the scheme and we have identified a clear need for the provision of accurate and consistent advice from trusted bodies.
“The information and services proposed by the UK Government do not go far enough and we do not believe they will provide the reassurance people need. This additional service will fill the gaps in the UK’s support for EU citizens and ensure that we can encourage as many EU residents in Scotland to remain in Scotland.”
It was immediately after the UK wide vote to leave the EU that the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon announced that EU citizens were welcome to be here.
Applying for settled status will cost £65 for each adult and £2.50 for each child. The scheme will not be fully operational until March 2019. You can find more information here: Settled and Pre-settled status.
All the UK migrants who now reside in EU states are also affected by Brexit and if there is a no deal situation many thousands of them may have to return to the UK. This will have huge implications for health and social care:
- loss of EU workers in health and social care leading to workforce shortages
- many additional elderly people returning requiring care
Reporter: Fiona Grahame