As Romanians and Bulgarians achieved full rights to live and work in the UK last night, Scottish Greens co-convenor Maggie Chapman welcomed them to Scotland.

Chapman, who is also the party’s lead candidate in this year’s European elections and an Edinburgh city councillor representing the Leith Walk ward, tweeted her welcome to Romanians and Bulgarians while watching the New Year fireworks from Calton Hill in the capital:

Maggie, who is herself an immigrant from Zimbabwe, later said:

When I moved to Scotland, the welcome I got was tremendous. Scots are famed worldwide for our hospitality and openness. And since I’ve lived here, I’ve found that each group of people who has moved to Scotland over the years has enriched our culture and helped to make us a more prosperous nation.

It is not yet clear how many Romanian and Bulgarian people will come here in the coming days and weeks and months, but each one of them is a new Scot, a new neighbour, and a new friend.

Maggie’s new year message of welcome contasts starkly with that of No campaign spokesman Alastair Darling, whose anti-independence appeal to “the people of this island” carried an unwelcome tone of narrow, ethnic nationalism:

Gary Dunion

About Gary Dunion

Gary Dunion is Parliamentary Officer for Friends of the Earth Scotland. He has prevously worked for Green and Independent MSPs, and campaign organisations including Global Justice Now and WWF Scotland. He was a founding editor of Bright Green.