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Asylum Seekers (Right to Vote)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 20th February 2020.

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Photo of Andy Wightman Andy Wightman Green

I am pleased that the First Minister agrees that the language and the policy on immigration from the United Kingdom Government this week have been deeply damaging. Does she agree that it would be a clear signal that Scotland is more welcoming if we gave those who seek asylum here the right to vote through the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill, which we will consider today?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Obviously, Parliament will debate those issues later this afternoon. The Scottish Government has set out its careful and considered position on that. We come from the perspective of wanting asylum seekers to be welcomed here and given the right to work here and play a full part in our society. We carefully consider all those issues.

I am proud that, in Scotland, we have—I hope—cross-party consensus that, generally speaking, the people who live here, no matter where they come from, should have the right to vote in our elections and to make a full contribution to the kind of country that we are and the one that we want to be.