Polish national hits out at ‘vote No to stay in EU’ claim

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A Polish national living in Scotland has welcomed news of a second independence referendum - but slammed Better Together for EU claims made prior to the 2014 vote.

Nicola Sturgeon announced on Monday that she would be seeking a second referendum on Scotland’s independence.

Joanna Zawadzka appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two. Picture: Contributed

Joanna Zawadzka appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two. Picture: Contributed

Joanna Zawadzka, Project Co-ordinator with Bloody Foreigners - a campaign aimed at encouraging migrants and ethnic minorities in the UK to donate blood - appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two as part of a discussion titled ‘What next for Brexit and Scottish independence’.

During the discussion, Ms Zawadzka welcomed Ms Sturgeon’s announcement, saying that it ‘guaranteed EU nationals a choice’.

One of the No campaign’s key arguments in the lead-up to the 2014 referendum was the warning that voting Yes would remove EU citizenship.

The claim has been slammed by pro-independence voters in the wake of both the 2014 vote and the referendum on EU membership in June 2016.

Speaking to the BBC Two programme, Ms Zawadzka said: “If I remember correctly, at every event pre-referendum, EU nationals had been told that the only way for Scotland to stay in the European Union would be to vote No.

“And a couple of years later - we are where we are, and I have to say that, at least yesterday, we have been guaranteed a choice, as opposed to being told what we’re getting.

“I feel like I’m a patient on the operating table, with no doctor by my side... I’m in pain already, and Scotland is there holding my hand and telling me that everything’s going to be okay.”

Since the EU referendum, one of the biggest talking points has been the status of EU nationals in the UK, and particularly in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon said in an address shortly after the EU referendum: “You remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued.”

Ms Sturgeon also reassured EU students studying in Scotland that they would continue to benefit from free tuition and support throughout their studies.