At FMQs on Thursday 3rd November, in response to a question from SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire, the First Minister cited recent studies which outline that the clear majority of migrants, and particularly those from the EU, and are highly qualified and make a positive economic contribution.

Ruth welcomed these findings, stating that they ‘should help to challenge head on some of the prejudices that sadly still prevail about migrants living and working in our society’.

Responding to Ruth’s follow-up question about how the First Minister will work to ensure that Scotland remains a welcoming place following the UK-wide decision to leave the EU, Nicola Sturgeon reiterated that the 180,000 EU nationals who have made their home in Scotland continue to be welcome, and made clear her commitment to exploring all potential options to protect Scotland’s interests in Europe.

The First Minister also condemened the fact that UK Government is yet to guarantee the residency status of EU nationals, appearing content to use them as bargaining chips, and called for such a guarantee from the UK Government without further delay.