Still hope of cancelling Brexit to halt chaos, says Patrick Harvie
There is still hope that Brexit can be cancelled to ensure the UK remains a part of the EU, Patrick Harvie has said.
On a visit to the Language Hub in Glasgow on Friday, he joined with fellow Scottish Green Party co-convener Maggie Chapman in meeting with EU nationals on the day the UK had been due to leave.
The party has been calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit, with Article 50 revoked if it is not possible to do so.
Mr Harvie blamed the Tories for the “hostile environment” created by Brexit.
“People’s lives have been thrown into turmoil and chaos,” he said.
“And that is absolutely part of the Conservative Party’s nasty, xenophobic, hostile environment.
“We need to be saying that Scotland wants to be an open and welcoming society where people feel valued.”
He added: “It is not Brexit day, they are not being pushed out of the door today. There is far more hope that we can cancel Brexit, stop this chaos and continue as part of the European family of nations.”
Mr Harvie added that he intends to keep his identity as a European citizen, regardless of what path the UK takes.
Green Party co-convener Maggie Chapman suggested that Prime Minister Theresa May was to blame.
She said: “When she was Home Secretary, she created the hostile environment.
“The seeds were sown long ago but it nurtured those seeds of hatred, of racism and of xenophobia.
“It’s because of her that we have the hostile environment in the UK and that allowed the right to capture the Brexit debate, to capture the leave debate and say, ‘you know, we can tackle immigration’.
“That’s completely the wrong way to look at it. It’s not about how Scotland works and I think it’s certainly not how most of us actually want to function.”
Samira Campoy runs teaching sessions at the language hub, having arrived in Scotland 19 years ago from Almeria in Spain.
Ms Campoy said that she was unable to read or write English when she first arrived in the country and took on work as a cleaner, having earned an honours degree whilst in Granada.
She said: “When I arrived here, it was a country which gave me opportunities.
“It’s not like the country just provided for me, I provided for the country. It doesn’t feel like that now. It feels really unstable.
“Me and my husband woke up this morning and thought, ‘so what are we doing?’.
“We’re going next week with my inlaws to Mallorca and we’re coming back on the 12th.
“I was thinking ‘what if they stop me and I cannot go through, what will you do? What will happen to the kids?’.
“My husband said, ‘It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine’, but what about if not? Even that thought is really worrying.”