Cross-party plan of action needed to defend Scots' rights as EU citizens

Responding to the news that the UK has narrowly voted to leave the European Union, while Scotland voted strongly in favour of remaining, Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"It’s devastating to see that the deceitful, manipulative and at times downright racist Brexit campaign has succeeded south of the border, and looks set to tear up the many benefits of EU membership and play fast and loose with our economic future. The Leave campaign claimed to be defending democracy, but they now propose to remove the rights of EU citizenship from Scotland regardless of the way people living here voted.

"Scotland must keep open every option for protecting ourselves from this threat. The Scottish Parliament and Government must be represented in the negotiations about what comes next. A cross-party plan of action should be sought, so we can defend our rights as EU citizens."

The Scottish Greens have launched an online petition so people can support the party's call for Holyrood to "examine and exhaust every option for continuing Scotland's close ties with Europe."

Mr Harvie added:

"Over recent weeks we’ve watched as the referendum debate has shown us a country and a political culture we simply don’t recognise as our own. Whether people voted Yes or No to independence in 2014, many watching the events of recent weeks will have concluded that we simply cannot be dragged along with this.

"Over the years the UK’s broken economic system, which serves the interests of the wealthiest at everyone else’s expense, has created feelings of political alienation for a great many people. But we cannot allow that justified anger and resentment be turned against those least to blame, providing fertile ground for xenophobic and far right politics.

"The Green Parties throughout these islands – and across Europe – will recommit ourselves to giving people an alternative, and the chance to join an outward looking, internationalist political movement that brings people together instead of dividing them, and which works for the common good."