HE could not speak English when he arrived in Scotland, then went on to become our first French-born MSP and MEP.

Aberdeen councillor Christian Allard says he wouldn’t have qualified to live in Scotland under the new points-based system when he arrived almost 40 years ago – and still wouldn’t now.

That’s on the basis of earnings and qualifications requirements.

But in his nearly-four decades in this country he has held three different levels of elected office, becoming part of our last intake of MEPs. And he’s built a family here, including three daughters and four grandchildren.

The SNP councillor has also worked within the care sector, taking a part time role to supplement his councillor pay after success in the 2017 local government elections.

READ MORE: 'An insult to Scotland': Reaction to new Westminster immigration policy

Allard, who had worked in the fishing and seafood sector after moving to Scotland, says it is “nonsense” to consider such roles as low skilled, as is the case under the new points-based immigration system set to come into force after Brexit.

“It’s a fantastic job,” he said. “I had to up-skill to do it.”

He went on: “By calling this low-skilled we are now demonising so many people – British people, Scottish people – who are working in these jobs. We are doing the same with people who work on farms. It becomes something bad when there is nothing bad about it.

“They are managing to insult everyone.”

Allard was planning to leave the French firm he worked for when they gave him the chance to transfer to Glasgow. “I wanted to see the world,” he says. “I stayed because I fell in love.”

His wife Jacqueline died in 2000 at the age of 33 and Allard has spoken about his struggles as a single father.

“Migration isn’t about work,” he says. “People don’t just move for work, they move for different reasons. I wanted to travel the world. I decided to stay in this place because I fell in love and I started a family.

QUIZ: Can you score enough points to secure a post-Brexit working visa?

“Freedom of movement is everything. It gives people these chances.” Allard was sent to Edinburgh for a brief training period before taking up his role in Glasgow, a city in which the fledgling English-speaker could not understand anyone at first.

“I would have failed the visa,” he says, “and I would still fail because I don’t earn enough and I don’t have the qualifications they are asking for.

“I would encourage every EU national to apply for settled status. The system is not fit for purpose, but it’s all we have and I don’t want people to be left behind.”

Allard, who represents the Torry/Ferryhill ward, says he is not surprised by the direction the UK Government is taking, but it has left him feeling worried about his future.

“Will I be able to stay a councillor?” he asks. “I don’t know.”

“Will I be able to get another job afterwards? Will I be discriminated against if I look for a tenancy or a job?

“I told people Boris Johnson would be Prime Minister in 2012 and they laughed at me,” he adds. “Now there is no joke.

“We’ve been fighting this for the last eight years, but now all of us are suffering the consequences.

“2014 was a warning, now it’s happening. I’m not despondent, I’m not surprised – unfortunately, we were right. I wish we’d been wrong.”