Minister condemns ‘abhorrent’ Tory immigration policies
A Scottish Government minister who is married to a French man has launched a scathing attack on the “abhorrent” immigration policies of the UK Government.
Environment minister Mairi Gougeon has previously spoken of her fears that her husband Baptiste may be unable to remain in Scotland after Brexit.
During a Conservative debate on agriculture, she spoke of the impact Brexit could have not just on the farming sector, but on the people it relies on.
She said: “This isn’t just about the economic imperative of the free movement of people, we’re actually talking about people’s lives.
“I would love to hear what the Tories have to say to my family, to my friends and to the hundreds of thousands of other families who are affected by the hostile environment that their Government has created.
“People who now have to apply for the right to stay in Scotland, many of whom have known Scotland as their only home.”
The Angus North and Mearns MSP said 70% of people working in fish processing in the north east of Scotland are European citizens.
She asked: “How will our rural economy continue to function without the people who sit at its very heart?
“Above all that lies at the heart of this are people, the people who work on our farms, on our crofts, in the abattoirs, in processing and in those jobs that keep our rural economy going, the nurses, the social care workers, those in hospitality – and a large number of those are EU citizens.”
She told the Conservatives: “Your policies are abhorrent and I have nothing to do with them.
“And as I say it is affecting my family and it is affecting hundreds of other families right across the country right now.”