SNP Plans To Help EU Workers Stay In Scotland

8 October 2017, 08:25 | Updated: 8 October 2017, 08:29

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The SNP is to set out its plans to help EU citizens stay in Scotland after Brexit at its annual conference.

In her speech later this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will commit to exploring "all options" to secure EU citizens' status in the country.

This includes meeting the costs any public sector workers might be charged to stay in the UK as a result of leaving the EU.

Speaking ahead of the conference, party leader Ms Sturgeon said: "EU citizens have made their lives here and are part of our community. They contribute to our economy, work in our universities, teach in our schools and work in our health service, just as those who were born in Scotland do.

"EU citizens make an enormous contribution and we must recognise that.

"After 18 months, many still do not have the answers they seek.

"As a result, some are choosing to leave and others who would have been attracted to the UK and Scotland no longer wish to come here. That is a disgrace.

"The UK Government must guarantee their rights and make the process for staying here as simple and easy as possible."

It is estimated around 20,000 EU citizens work directly for Scotland's public sector, including the NHS, with many more employed in services such as social care.

The First Minister will also confirm that the Scottish Government will expand its migration support for private businesses who employ people from the EU and other countries.

Scottish Labour Brexit spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: "We will guarantee the right of EU citizens to stay in this country from Day One of the next Labour Government - not just in Scotland, but right across the UK.

"The only party that can kick the Tories out of Number 10 and deliver a jobs-first Brexit is Labour."