ON Saturday, Scottish and EU citizens will march together through Inverness to protest against the effects Brexit is having and will continue to have on EU nationals living in Scotland. Here Victoria Johnson, a Greek citizen, tells us why she will be marching.

THE old Yiddish proverb “We plan, God laughs” most aptly describes how I came to live in Scotland. A friend was doing a study abroad in Edinburgh and we were meeting up during the Christmas holidays from university before she set off in January 2008.

I laughed when she said she was going to Scotland and asked why on Earth would she want to go somewhere with such wet weather when her university offered programmes in Spain and Italy, too.

Fast forward just three months and there I was living in Scotland and transferring to Glasgow Uni.

I came over in March for a holiday and fell utterly and completely in love with this beautiful nation and her incredible people. Scotland has held my heart since, although we have had a sometimes complicated relationship. I married in 2010 and in 2012 my husband and I welcomed our first son via a rather dramatic medical flight from Shetland to Aberdeen.

In 2013 we decided to use our freedom of movement and over the next few years we moved to Spain, Malta, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia in search of where to raise our bairns. Amongst that were a couple of jaunts to America where we did seriously mull whether or not we should stay there instead.

And yet we constantly circled back to living in Scotland. This was the place that felt the most like home for both of us.

As the bairns grew older certain things became more and more important. Playing on the beach is lovely, but it became more of a priority that they absorbed that uniquely Scottish sense of humour, music and culture.

We discussed coming back during the last independence referendum but when that failed to produce independence we were both too gutted to contemplate coming back.

Neither of us could wrap our heads around the concept of raising our bairns in a nation that had actively decided to stay beholden to England. And then Brexit.

Suddenly the idea of coming back “one day” was no longer abstract. We had a firm date to make decisions by since I, as a Greek citizen would only have the “right to remain” if we moved back before the arbitrary date of March 29, 2019. We decided that, after the completely shambolic handling of Brexit, surely now was the time for Scotland’s emancipation.

Surely many others must feel the same and it would be safe to assume that independence would shortly follow Brexit?

I am proud to call myself a New Scot. I have three beautiful Scottish bairns and it is for them that I devote myself to the cause of independence.

It is my hope that they will grow up in a truly free nation. A free nation that makes its own foreign policy and, crucially, a nation that can make its own immigration policy.

Scotland does not have the power within the UK that it deserves.

We as a nation voted against Brexit and here we find ourselves still exiting the European Union.

How am I supposed to explain this sort of democracy to my bairns? “You see, England voted one way and since we are a Union of equals we have to do what they want even if it’s the opposite of what the people of Scotland want.”

And so we march so that Scottish people can make decisions about what is best for Scotland.”