, , , , , ,


Gavin Newlands MP


On Monday night, Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, opposed the UK Governments divisive Immigration Bill which seeks to bring an end to Freedom of Movement in the UK and for British citizens.

Gavin Newlands MP

Freedom of Movement allows every British citizen, including every Scottish person, to work and travel freely across the EU’s 27 countries.

During his speech, Newlands told the stories of many who had reached out to tell him about his positive experiences of Freedom of Movement:

“My constituent Emma Hendrie, a 21-year-old student, studied for a semester abroad at Ghent University, Belgium as an exchange student in 2018. Once her fellow students got past her apparently strong Paisley accent, she became friends with people there from Europe and beyond.

Alison Ruthven Hughes lived in the Netherlands on two different occasions, which was a great experience for her children, who got the chance to meet other children from all over the world. Alison says that she is Scottish and European.

Mark Harold emigrated to Lithuania in 2005 to work on music projects and he stayed for many years. Mark was eventually elected by the City Council- he cites the raver community as the source of his popularity- and he is now the Night Mayor Vilnius and is the only known Non- Citizen to have sworn on the Lithuanian Constitution.

Sandra and Steve Murray wrote to me to tell me their story of making a new home in a small village on the French/Spanish border. Her village is populated by Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Belgian, English, Irish, Swedish and people from many other nations. Their daughter now lives in Barcelona and they regularly cross the Pyrenees to visit regularly. They wrote that in their village, ‘everyone is much more aware of what we have in common, rather than what separates us.’ And that ‘they only wish that the UK would adopt the Scottish view that we all want the same things – peace, equality and opportunity.

Others also told me how much EU Citizens in Scotland have enriched their lives:

Stewart Everett wrote to me and said that he didn’t study abroad but thought his university experience in Glasgow was made better by the European students being here as he would often be the only Scottish person at a party, he counts many interesting conversations and said that he learnt much about the world and how Scotland relates to it.

And David Kidd said that just because he may not have used freedom of movement himself that doesn’t mean he didn’t feel the benefit of it through others.”