IN the run-up to the 2015 Westminster campaign, I was asked to participate in a debate on the BBC about immigration. It was to mirror the UK media campaign for this election, another UK campaign where immigration would take over most other issues. Remember the excuse for this? We are supposed to be too afraid to discuss immigration.

We all agreed that night that the 2015 General Election was not going to be won in Scotland by demonising migrants. I made the point that debating immigration without talking about emigration is nonsense.

Scotland recognises the cost of emigration and the benefits of immigration. Our leading Scottish politicians understand that blaming immigrants is not the vote-winner that many down south think it is.

Brexit isn’t an event, it started many years ago. With Theresa May as Prime Minister, we have someone who has demonised migrants since she first ran the Home Office from 2010. There are many leading Brexiteers for whom immigration is not such an issue, but for Theresa May, a Remainer, Brexit has become the chance to pursue her agenda.

For anyone thinking that UK Labour might be the answer to this UK problem, Diane Abbott, Labour shadow home secretary, dispelled this myth when she said last week: “We should treat the doctor from Poland the same way that we treat the doctor from Pakistan.” Doctors from Pakistan are prime targets of the unfair Tory hostile environment. The Labour solution is not to treat the doctor from Pakistan more fairly but to treat the doctor from Poland more unfairly. It defies any logic. Of course, Abbott had nothing to say about British doctors living in the EU. Labour is missing the whole point of freedom of movement.

The system doesn’t work for non-EU citizens living here. We have witnessed the inhumane, xenophobic and despicable hostile environment implemented by the Home Office since 2010. Many of us oppose the policy which separates and destitutes families before deporting them. When cases are brought to courts, the Home Office usually loses, however the policy remains.

Our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the UK Government White Paper on immigration an act of vandalism. It is an act of vandalism but it isn’t the first one.

Scotland over the years, despite our best efforts, has suffered similar acts of vandalism, many in the name of immigration. Since devolution, first ministers led appeals for people to come and live here just to see the Home Office doing all it can to find an excuse to deport them later.

I never thought that I would still be in limbo months away from the date set for the UK to leave the EU. I couldn’t reassure my Scottish children and grandchildren this Christmas about our future as a family. We have become permanent targets for the Home Office. I say permanent since, because of the Windrush scandal, the Home Office has no time limit to come after us. Unless Brexit is stopped, the incertitude for all of us will remain. The British citizens living in the EU share a lot of our concerns. For them, freedom of movement is more important than for us, the three million living here.

The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are doing all they can to protect us and are attempting to mitigate the effects of Brexit. I am delighted by the announcements from the Scottish Government to pay for some of our fees and to finance immigration advice centres for EU nationals. I am very thankful, but I have no faith in Westminster or in the Home Office.

Amendments to this latest UK Government proposal on immigration won’t do. Brexit isn’t the problem to solve, the attitude towards migrants of leading UK politicians must change. Unless it does, I won’t be applying for the new settled status to be denied the right to remain in my own home. I won’t pay £65 to be denied the right to live amongst my family and friends of more than 35 years. Brexit must be halted and immigration must be devolved in Scotland.

Christian Allard is a French national and Aberdeen City councillor