Readers' letters: Harsh immigration rules make me feel ashamed

There is absolutely no doubt that the Tory government’s draconian new immigration laws are designed to discourage would-be applicants – unless of course they are highly qualified and well-off financially. For those not so favoured the difficulties are considerable.

The problems currently being encountered by a young French acquaintance have genuinely shocked me. Our friend from Bordeaux has a university degree and is fluent in both spoken and written English. She is an artist and a musician. She came to Scotland to be with her partner, a qualified gardener with a long-established Edinburgh firm. Our friend made her visa application some weeks ago in good faith imagining that it would be a straightforward and speedy process. Having spent over £3,000 working her way through the requirements, including the English test, she was told that the last stage was a face-to-face interview with a member of staff from the Home Office. For this she had to go to Manchester at her own expense. You can imagine her dismay to learn that her application has now been refused.

There are 12 pages in the refusal letter which lists 13 separate criteria for possible rejection. The letter is confusing and contradictory and concludes with the suggestion that she should return to France and that “it is reasonable to suggest your partner would be able… to find gainful employment in France.” So she can’t work here but apparently it’s OK for her partner to move to France to work!

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Surely if there was a flaw in her application then this should have been pointed out at the start of the process, not at the end when so much time, emotion and money has been used up. With such harsh, complicated and costly regulations in place it is little wonder that the country has so many illegal immigrants. I feel utterly ashamed that the UK, once respected for its humanitarian actions, should be treating people in this way.

Applying for a UK visa is a complicated processApplying for a UK visa is a complicated process
Applying for a UK visa is a complicated process

Eric Melvin, Edinburgh

Truth in politics

Here we go again! Will anyone in the SNP ever tell the true story of the Brexit vote? We voted as a United Kingdom – those were the rules. London, significantly larger than Scotland, voted Remain as did Northern Ireland. But it suits the propaganda of the SNP to claim “we wuz robbed” (by England). And now we're being told that we all want independence.

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Recession, new waves of coronaviruses, the Barnett formula which means often that other UK taxpayers are funding SNP largesse; surely these are the issues any caring, competent government would be prioritising. Instead, we see squandering of precious resources of time and money on ideology not need.

Cruelty comes in many forms. I believe the current Scottish Government stands guilty of the most heinous variety. Please, please waken up to the need for action on poverty, improving education and providing the best possible future for all.

Moyra Forrest, Edinburgh

Democratic mandate

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Apart from the fact the SNP has won numerous mandates for a second independence referendum and that there is a sizeable democratic majority in the Scottish Parliament, opponents of Scotland’s right to choose self-determination need to explain why we should be beholden to or trust a London Tory government that ignores international law with impunity.

Unionists also fail to address the key argument as to why similar sized independent nations in northern Europe all have much fairer and cohesive societies with higher standards of living than the UK, which is the most unequal country in Europe.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

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