Scottish PM determined to encourage EU citizens to stay post-Brexit

Published:  21 Feb at 6 PM
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Scotland’s First Minister is determined to use every effort to persuade EU expats to stay post-Brexit in order to avoid potential shortfalls in the workforce.

Nicola Sturgeon is planning to inform French lawmakers of her stance during an upcoming meeting, and is expected to emphasise that freedom of movement limitations will hurt Scotland far more than the UK. Both the Scottish tourism industry and SMEs have warned lawmakers labour shortages are already being felt, especially in remote areas where jobs are low-paid.

The hospitality sector and the food processing industry are both key elements of the region’s economic success and traditionally depend on expat workers from the EU. During her upcoming meeting with the French National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Sturgeon will state population decline may well be the result of the loss of free movement. She is also expected to stress that skills shortages will occur in healthcare, universities and the majority of rural regions unless seasonal as well as permanent EU workers are allowed to travel freely to and from Scotland.

Sturgeon is known to be in favour of holding a Scottish referendum on staying in the UK or becoming an independent country bordering Britain, and is concerned about the Brexit effect on Scotland’s ageing population should EU workers no longer arrive. During the 2016 referendum, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted unreservedly to stay in the EU, whilst England and Wales voted to leave.
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