Across Europe, as austerity has reduced living standards for ordinary people, politicians keen to shirk the blame for their own failures have reached for a scapegoat. All too often, they have settled on migrants. Greens share the frustration many feel about low pay, deteriorating services and the lack of affordable housing. But the Scottish Green Party has always been clear; it wasn’t migrants who caused the economic collapse. It’s not migrants who are cutting jobs and failing to pay decent wages. It’s not migrants who sold off our social housing and failed to replace it.
Scotland gains a huge amount from the people who move here. New Scots contribute to our economy and enrich our culture. Without them, our public services would grind to a halt. Without them, we would struggle to pay our pensions and without them, our lives would be poorer. They are our neighbours, our friends, our family. Wherever a politician seeks to blame the movement of people for the damage wrought by our failing economic system, the Green Party stands shoulder to shoulder with migrants.
Moreover, huge numbers of Scottish people have taken advantage of the rules allowing the free movement of people within Europe. Up to a million British people are estimated to live in Spain alone. Thousands more have moved to each member of the EU. We believe in treating arrivals here in the way in which we would expect to be treated if we moved abroad. In the face of increasingly toxic rhetoric, Greens are proud to welcome newcomers to our country.
As your Scottish Green MEP Maggie will:
- Speak out against toxic rhetoric which turns people against our migrant neighbours and continue to work to protect the rights of particularly marginalised groups, including Roma people and other traveller communities.
- Support the free movement of people across the EU, whether for the purposes of economic migration or to seek asylum or refugee status
- Defend the right of citizens to a family life. New UK government rules require that in order to have a spouse from a non-EU country move to the UK to live with you, you have to be wealthy. This is an attack on love and on family life and we will continue to fight it.
- Support moves to protect those who have been trafficked into Europe, rather than victimising them further and oppose the detention of migrants.
- Oppose any moves to water down EU rules requiring that all EU citizens have the same access to public services as citizens of any other EU state they are in.