MP Peter Grant has promised to do everything he can to protect the rights of EU nationals living in his constituency.
Mr Grant was speaking after a packed public meeting attended by citizens of 15 different EU countries who have settled in Fife.
Cardenden and Kinglassie MP Peter heard from constituents concerned about their right to remain in the UK and offered assurances that the Scottish Government were taking steps to protect the rights of EU nationals in Scotland. The MP for Glenrothes and Central Fife, said: “The Scottish Government’s paper ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’ offers a significant compromise that respects the result of the EU Referendum in countries that voted to leave but which also seeks to protect as far as possible the position of the 62% in Scotland who voted to remain.”
Commenting after the meeting, Peter said: “I asked EU citizens living locally to come along to talk about how Brexit is affecting them, and what came through loud and clear is that the lack of commitment from Prime Minister Theresa May’s Government has got them really worried.
"Instead of seeking to provide some sort of assurance and guarantee of the rights of EU nationals in the UK, the Tories seem determined to use people as bargaining chips.
“Last week the UK Government cast aside all pretext of Parliamentary scrutiny and railroaded through legislation to trigger Article 50, creating the real risk that we’re headed for what the Prime Minister herself has described as a “cliff edge” of no deal at the end of the two year negotiating period.”
Peter continued: “I and my SNP colleagues at Westminster sought to amend the Government’s Bill to protect many of the benefits that we enjoy as EU citizens. "In particular we wanted to give EU nationals who have made Scotland their home the certainty that they would be able to stay here. Our stance has been supported by select committees of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords but it was swept aside by the Government.
"EU nationals contribute to our economy. They pay more tax than they get back in services, and they enrich our communities by making them better places to live and work. I am proud that so many choose to make Fife their home and am committed to protecting and representing the rights all of my constituents.”
Nicola Weir, Senior Solicitor for Thorntons Law LLP, who also spoke at the meeting commented: “These are very uncertain times and we do not yet know what restrictions will be placed on the free movement of EU nationals in the UK.
"It is important that those EU nationals living and exercising treaty rights in Scotland are aware that there is scope to apply to the Home Office for confirmation of their right of residence. Such proof of residence may assist in protecting their position should Brexit become a reality.”