THE Prime Minister has faced widespread backlash after claiming EU migrants have been able to “treat the UK as if it's part of their own country” during an interview with Sky's Sophy Ridge. 

Cross-party figures have condemned Boris Johnson's comment, while campaign group the3million said his claim positions EU citizens and their families as "second class citizens".

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attacked the Tory leader's claims, calling them "despicable, dog whistle politics".

She tweeted: "I hope that migrants who have chosen to live in and make a contribution to Scotland do feel like it is their country - their home in other words - because it is.

"Really despicable, dog whistle politics to suggest otherwise."

Writer and TV presenter David Weinczok replied to Sturgeon's tweet thanking Scots for making them feel welcome amid post-Brexit hostility.

He wrote: "Scotland is now and will forever be home to me. As 'new Scots' I and my Latvian partner have only ever been welcomed her with open arms, and I cannot thank my fellow Scots enough for that. It is clear to me where the hostility comes from, and it ain't from here."

Portuguese-born painter WG Saraband echoed Weinczok's comments, writing: "Scotland does feel like home - thanks to the openness and kind embrace of Scots here who told me I was one of them, but also thanks to the political leadership displayed by politicians in Scotland who have rejected the dog whistle politics of xenophobia."

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday yesterday, Johnson had said: “You’ve seen quite a large number of people coming in from the whole of the EU … able to treat the UK as though it’s basically part of their own country, and the problem with that is there has been no control at all and I don’t think that is democratically accountable.” 

Figures from Labour and the LibDems have also been critical of the PM's claim. Labour candidate David Lammy said: “Boris Johnson attacking our European friends for using the free movement rights we agreed together is the worst of this country.”

And LibDem candidate Christine Jardine compared the former London mayor to Trump, saying: “Johnson is demonising the EU nationals who contribute so much to our NHS, social care and economy. This dog-whistle politics is straight out of... Trump’s playbook.”