A former MSP has challenged a claim by Ruth Davidson that the UK government has agreed a Brexit deal on EU nationals living in the UK.
Christian Allard, who was born in France but who has lived in Scotland for more than thirty years, insisted there was no such deal.
Mr Allard was responding to claims made by Ruth Davidson on Sunday when she appeared on ITV’s ‘Peston on Sunday’. In her interview, Davidson said: “Before the first phase, people said we weren’t going to get a deal on EU nationals, and we have.”
In an open letter to the Scottish Conservative leader, former SNP MSP Allard said: “There is no deal on EU nationals Ruth – if there were one, we would know.”
Mr Allard added: “What we do know is that of all EU nationals who applied for permanent residence since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, 30 per cent had their applications rejected by the Home Office.
“If you had read some of their stories – one in Edinburgh, a French mother married to an ex-marine living here for 24 years and asked by the Home Office to leave after Brexit – if you were concentrating on your day job, you would know, Ruth.”
Plans by the UK government would require all EU nationals living in the UK to pay a fee of around £70 to apply to remain here. Those rejected will be allowed to appeal the decision.
Those EU nationals who already have permanent residence documentation will still have to go through a similar process, albeit less costly. The former MSP was not the only figure to challenge the Scottish Conservative leader, who made a string of other claims on the same ITV programme.
Steve Peers who is Professor of EU, Human Rights & World Trade Law at the University of Essex tweeted: “Davidson’s first three statements are misleading: the UK/EU agreement on these issues leaves important points outstanding. Her final statement is false: transition is not “sorted out” by any form of UK/EU agreement yet.”
Another to question the veracity of Davidson’s claims on the Brexit divorce bill, transition period and the Irish border, was former SNP MP John Nicolson, who replied: “No, we said you’d pay a fortune to divorce the EU and you have. We said you’d need a transition period and you do.
“And we said you’d given no thought to Ireland, which was wantonly irresponsible. And so it proved. You’ve been as incompetent as we feared.”
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