EU citizens living in West Dunbartonshire and elsewhere in Scotland are to be supported to remain during and beyond the uncertainty associated with Brexit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister made a commitment to EU citizens that Scotland remains their home as she promised to continue to make a strong case for their rights to be protected in any EU exit.

She has written an open letter to EU citizens to confirm a new ‘Stay in Scotland’ package that will consist of £250,000 for community based support across Scotland.

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She has also pledged a support and advice service for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenges.

A toolkit will also be available for employers, including posters, fact sheets, digital content and guide directing EU citizens to further guidance.

The hashtag #StayinScotland will be created.

Ms Sturgeon said it follows the Scottish Government, along with others, successfully pushing the UK Government to scrap the £65 “settled status” fee.

She added: “It is vital for our communities and our economy that EU nationals know they are welcome and will be supported to stay in Scotland.

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“Immediately after the EU referendum I wrote to EU citizens living in Scotland highlighting that Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU and that I considered them to be very much part of the fabric of this country.

“I am writing again with the same message: you are welcome here, you contribute to this country’s diversity and richness and we will do everything we can to help you to stay.

“We will continue to argue for further change as necessary to the UK Government’s Settlement Scheme. And we will provide practical advice directly and through businesses and community groups.”