New figures published today by the Home Office show that only 31,400 EU citizens have applied for settled status in Scotland, out of about 200,000 EU citizens resident north of the border.
Across the UK, fewer than 300,000 EU citizens – under 10 per cent of those believed to be currently resident in the UK – have been granted settled status.
Colin Borland, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) director of devolved nations, said: “Workers and business owners from the EU are incredibly important to local economies and communities across Scotland. This publication suggests that their numbers could be decimated unless there’s a significant change in approach from the UK Government.
“One in four small employers in Scotland have at least one employee from an EU country, and this figure rises in key industries and geographies. Of course employers should encourage their staff to sign up for this programme, but it can’t just be left to business. While it looks like two thirds of applications are immediately successful, only one in seven EU nationals in Scotland have applied. UK Ministers need to kick the tyres of this scheme before it is too late.”