MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the scrapping of Prime Minister Theresa May’s hugely controversial Settled Status fee for EU citizens following a successful campaign by the SNP.
This week Rona Mackay MSP wrote to EU citizens in her constituency regarding the UK government’s controversial Settled Status Scheme before the U-turn by the Westminster Government.
The scheme had planned to charge EU citizens a £65 administration fee for their right to continued residence in the UK. Applications for children were planned to incur a charge of £32.50.
Last month in the Scottish Parliament, all parties except the Tories backed calls for the UK government to drop the fee. The Scottish Government had committed to paying the fees for all public sector workers in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has also funded Scotland's Citizens Advice network to provide a new advice service to European citizens in Scotland affected by changes to immigration rules as a result of Brexit. This service is set to go live at the beginning of March 2019.
Applications to the Settlement Scheme are due to open on the 30th March 2019 with the deadline to apply set for 30th June 2021.
Ms Mackay said: “EU nationals should never have been asked to pay this fee in order to remain in their own homes and maintain the rights they already have. Thanks to the SNP’s persistence on this issue, I’m glad the UK government has finally seen sense and dropped these appalling plans.
“This is a major U-turn from a beleaguered Prime Minister, who is desperately trying to cling onto power. But this entire sorry process underlines precisely why Scotland needs the powers to create a fairer immigration system.
“EU citizens will always remain welcome in my constituency and across Scotland – they are valued members of all of our communities, our friends, neighbours and colleagues.”