Hundreds of thousands could lose the right to work and healthcare overnight.
On the day of the settled status deadline, the SNP’s Deputy Westminster Leader has made a last-ditch effort to push Boris Johnson to scrap the deadline to prevent hundreds of thousands of EU nationals being stripped of key rights overnight.
The SNP has repeatedly warned that the deadline will create a cliff-edge, in which EU nationals could lose the right to rent, work, and access healthcare and benefits.
Scotland’s NHS, care, and hospitality and tourism sectors could lose thousands of vital workers, putting the country’s economy at risk on the back of Brexit and a global health and economic crisis.
Commenting, Kirsten Oswald (pictured) said:
“This is the Prime Minister’s last chance to prevent hundreds of thousands of EU nationals being stripped of their rights overnight, as well as a hammer blow to Scotland’s economy and NHS.
“I am urging him to take it and scrap the deadline.
“He must wake up to the reality that the arbitrary settled status deadline poses huge and unnecessary risks to livelihoods, given people could lose their right to work, rent, and access vital healthcare and benefits, and industries such as hospitality and farming, who are already struggling to recruit as a result of Brexit, could face further difficulties if people can’t prove their right to work.
“Scotland and the people who live here cannot take – and do not deserve – another hit after ten years of Tory austerity, Brexit and a global health pandemic.
“Indeed, if the Tories hadn’t dragged Scotland out of the EU against our will in the first place we wouldn’t be facing such a disaster waiting to happen.
“All of this could be avoided if the UK government would just heed the widespread warnings and scrap the deadline – or better yet, implement a declaratory system whereby EU nationals in the UK are automatically granted settled status.
“However, this whole debacle shows once again that the Tories don’t care about people’s livelihoods or Scotland – their only priority is to make the rich richer.
“The only way we can truly protect Scotland – the people that live here and our economy – is to become independent.”