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MSPs and unions join the campaign to defend EU nationals

SCOTTISH politicians, trade unionists and campaigners added their voices today to a call to defend the rights of European Union nationals through a united campaign.

Holyrood MSPs, including Scottish Labour Party leader Richard Leonard, the Unison, Unite, FBU and PCS unions and the Scottish Refugee Council signed a statement drafted by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR).

The text warns that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has failed to provide any assurance to the 3.2 million EU nationals living in Britain as to their rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In order to receive settled status, migrants have to prove that they have lived in Britain for at least five years.

The Windrush scandal could be repeated on a bigger scale, the statement warns.

SUTR and the University and College Union (UCU) will deliver the message to university campuses in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow this week.

UCU Scotland president Carlo Morelli said: “Racism is being used deliberately by those in power to divert attention away from the problems ordinary people face.

“We must fight for unity against the bigots and racists in order to bring about change. Our universities in Scotland must become places where an anti-racist education flourishes.”

In a separate development, a Downing Street source said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had “made clear” that a deal is “overwhelmingly unlikely” and believes that the EU has a veto on Britain leaving the customs union.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer branded the comments a “cynical” attempt by No 10 to “sabotage” negotiations with the bloc.

The government released its “no-deal readiness report” today, outlining what changes will occur, with Mr Johnson insisting that he was “determined” to deliver EU withdrawal on October 31.

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