Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Prevention and Eradication of Hate Crime and Prejudice

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th November 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Annie Wells Annie Wells Conservative

I want to make progress.

Voting to leave the EU and addressing hate crime are not mutually exclusive. I would like to remind the equalities secretary and the First Minister to look at their own party—Alex Neil and the secret few who voted to leave the EU on 23 June—before wagging their fingers at the UK Government and the Scottish Conservatives. That is before I mention the estimated 400,000 SNP supporters who backed Brexit.

I am proud that people in this country tolerate one another’s beliefs and actively celebrate society’s diversity. As the Government’s motion rightly points out, Scotland has a long history of welcoming people of all nationalities and faiths. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that more than 7 per cent of the Scottish population was born outside the UK and that nearly 6 per cent of the population holds non-British nationality.

The Prime Minister has already spoken on the issue, stating that she fully expects and intends for the status of EU citizens to be guaranteed. The only situation in which that would not be the case is if the future rights of UK citizens were not protected elsewhere in the EU. At the Conservative party conference last month, Ruth Davidson made a positive case for ensuring that EU citizens are made to feel welcome in the UK. Why does the SNP continue to scaremonger about that issue?