Council commits to supporting EU nationals

The council has made a real commitment to supporting and welcoming EU nationals living in North Lanarkshire.

A motion was agreed at a meeting of the full council (20 December 2018) which outlined its commitment to protecting those European nationals living here and to engage in discussions with crucial employment sectors to recruit and retain people ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union.

The council will also continue to build links with its European twinned cities and towns, reiterating its shared commitment to maintaining its cultural ties with valued friends throughout the continent. 

The motion also agreed that the Council Leader will write to the UK Government to seek further reassurance over the size and scope of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which replaces the European Social Fund, and ask that additional guarantees and support are given to the Scottish Government and local authorities to access future funds for vital projects such as employment programmes. 

Councillor Jim Logue, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: "The council motion passed this week clearly stated that the best option is for the UK to remain in the single market and customs union.

"Critically, we agreed that it's essential that EU nationals - who face a deeply worrying time, particularly in the event of no deal - should feel welcome in North Lanarkshire. We as a council, will do everything we can to support anyone, but particularly those from the EU, who wish to live here and call it their home and they will be warmly embraced by our vibrant communities. 

"We have many people who have made a valuable contribution to our local economy, our culture and our communities and play a huge part in making North Lanarkshire a place to live, work, learn, invest and visit and their work has helped North Lanarkshire have the fastest-growing economy in Scotland."

It was agreed that a paper will be submitted to committee next year to outline the council's key concerns and actions in preparation for the impact of leaving the European Union. 

The Leader continued, "Council officers are working hard on the implications but that is a huge challenge given the level of uncertainty about what Brexit will actually look like."

Councillor Jordan Linden, SNP Group Assistant Business Manager said, "I am proud to have moved this Motion as it is so important that we make it clear to people living in North Lanarkshire who are from countries in the European Union that they are welcome here now and will continue to be welcomed in the future. Many people have thriving businesses here, others work in vital roles in the NHS and education and we will shortly be engaging with local employers, to recruit and retain people who are looking to stay here and continue to be part of our local communities."

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