Up to 2,000 EU citizens living in North Ayrshire must apply for permission to live in the UK after Brexit. 

Denmark-born Councillor Cristina Larsen said she feels like a complete “outsider” because of how she is being treated as an EU National by the UK Government. 

The Irvine SNP councillor said she feels complete “uncertainty about her status.”

Speaking at last week’s North Ayrshire Council meeting  she spoke of being “horrified” at having to undergo a criminality check.  

She said: “I am a proud Dane by birth and a proud Scot by choice. “

She seconded a motion by Dalry and West Kilbride Councillor Joy Brahim (SNP) to condemn the mandatory application process test and the charge levied on EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK. 

The motion called on the council to take a stand against the UK Government’s plans which would subject EU citizens to a mandatory application process to retain the right to live and work here through so-called “settled status” after March 29, 2019.

There are about 7000 EU citizens living throughout the whole of Ayrshire.
North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane presented the figures, which also revealed how 34 EU nationals currently work for the local authority. 

Responding to questions from Independent councillor Donald L Reid, Councillor Cullinane said the rights of the EU citizens was of “critical importance.”

He said the Scottish Government has pledged to pay the £65 registration cost of gaining settled status for public sector employees.

He added: “All of Ayrshire’s council leaders have made it clear of their deep appreciation of the value of EU citizens to Ayrshire and to Scotland.”

He said all three councils are working together to circulate information and spread awareness of Brexit issues. 

The council held an information session in August  for people to raise concerns about their status post Brexit.

Councillor Larsen told the council meeting having the right to vote as an EU citizen in Scotland is very important. 

Commenting on feedback from the EU session the Irvine SNP councillor said: “One of the concerns raised at that session was our right to be able to vote in this country following Brexit.

It should not be underestimated how important this is to us and should not be downplayed in any way shape or form.”

She said having the right to vote makes EU citizens “feel valued” and that their voices are heard.