5 July 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has issued a letter to EU citizens living in Scotland to reassure them that they are welcome here.
She invited consuls and diplomats from EU countries to a meeting at Bute House to discuss Scotland’s response to the EU referendum result, and to reassure them that Scotland values the contribution citizens from their respective countries make to our economy, society and culture.
The First Minister said:
“My message today – to EU citizens and to their representatives in Scotland – remains simple. Scotland is your home, you are welcome and your contribution to our economy, our society and our culture is valued.”
“We will pursue every option to protect Scotland’s position in Europe and, by extension, the interests of EU citizens who live and work here. I call again on the Prime Minister, and the potential candidates to succeed him, to give an immediate guarantee that the existing rights of the 173,000 EU nationals in Scotland will be protected.
“I listened today to consuls and diplomats on the engagement they’ve had with their citizens, and we’ll continue our programme of engagement with EU communities in Scotland.
“A strong starting point is a clear message from me to EU citizens that wherever they live and whatever they do, they are welcome here, now and in the future.”
The First Minister and Economy Secretary Keith Brown also hosted a roundtable discussion on Scotland’s economic response to the referendum result with the following organisations:
- Institute of Directors
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Scottish Council for Development and Industry
- Scottish Financial Enterprise
- Scottish Chambers of Commerce
“While the path ahead is uncertain, every part of the EU must know that Scotland remains part of the EU and an attractive and stable place to do business, with a fundamentally strong economy. I agree with business organisations that we need to get that clear, unequivocal message out and also about the long term importance to Scotland of the EU, the single market and free movement.
“We will work closely with business organisations, sharing intelligence as issues arise and deepening relationships with businesses with strong EU connections. Business has suggested we establish an EU business hub within Government to act as a single point of contact and we will take forward that proposal. And we’ll use our influence in Brussels and elsewhere to ensure that the message that Scotland is open for business is heard and understood and that we work together to protect Scotland’s interests and the benefits that the EU and the single market deliver.”