Monday, 3 October 2016

No Hostage

I am one of those Britons in Europe, to whom David Davis, Brexit Secretary, referred yesterday:

"When it comes to the negotiations, we will protect the rights of EU citizens here, so long as Britons in Europe are treated the same way."

So now I am a bloody hostage to the Tory Party. 

One of a million people with a UK passport who have taken 'freedom of movement' at its face value and have moved across the waters to continental Europe or the Republic of Ireland.

And now we are hostages.

Hostages for the 134,910 non-UK EU citizens living in Scotland - the 'reverse diaspora' - who include Catalan students at Glasgow and Stirling Universities whom I know, and thousands of others.

I welcome EU citizens to Scotland in the same way as I was welcomed here in Catalonia. Scotland needs these bright, young, exploring, adventurous people for lots of reasons - to help business and the economy to grow, to keep Scotland thinking global, and because we have an ageing population. Migrants bring new ideas, new ways of working and a wider world view to the place.

I don't want to be a hostage to the fortune of Mr Davis' calamitous negotiations with Brussels. I don't want to be a one-for-one hostage exchange on some Bridge of Spies over the channel, my life in Catalonia for my friend's life in Scotland.

Count me out, Mr Davis. 


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