THE UK Home Office is treating Derek, Olya and Milana Merry with a shameful idle callousness in refusing Olya’s visa (Scottish toddler’s mother threatened with deportation, April 9). What makes the government’s position ridiculous is that if Derek was German or French, then – as an EU citizen – he could freely bring his whole family to live together in this country. Derek, too, is an EU citizen: but his UK citizenship in effect overrides this, and takes the right to family life away from him.

The last Labour government, to its shame, introduced a financial barrier to the granting of a spouse’s residential visa. To their greater shame, the Conservatives and LibDems of the coalition government greatly raised the height of this barrier with the explicit aim of reducing the number of affected families allowed to live here.

The incapacity of all the major UK parties to treat fellow citizens with common decency was one of the first factors that convinced me to vote Yes in the independence referendum. I don’t believe that a Scottish Government would treat its citizens so badly – not because I think the Scots are plaster saints, but simply that every Scot I’ve ever known has some economic migration not so far back in their family history.

Derek is, at least, fortunate in having an MP who is prepared to protest about his treatment to the Home Office – in my experience, LibDem or Labour would give him little more than a sympathetic smile.

Andrew Coulson