Today the countries of the United Kingdom stand once again on the brink of a decision to abandon almost 50 years of close links with the other countries of Western Europe and the expanded European Union.
Students from across the Highlands and Islands were travelling down by bus from Inverness overnight to attend the Peoples’ March in London today (Saturday October. 19th) demanding that the London minority Tory government gives the people a final say on the outcome of the Brexit process.
The Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA) have arranged the opportunity for students attending the University of the Highlands and Islands to attend the march at no cost, to ensure the voices of their students are heard.
The Highlands and Islands Students’ will join hundreds of thousands of others to march on Parliament. HISA is proud to stand with their EU and International students and will continue to do everything they can to secure their place in this country, and to secure a people’s vote.
Commenting on the effects Brexit will have on her studies, HISA Lews Castle College Depute, Florence Jansen said:“Being able to attend the People’s Vote in London is so important for students from UHI, especially island communities.
"It’s not always easy to stand up for our beliefs, however, we are living in one of the areas that will be most impacted by Brexit. It has turned into an overcomplicated, scary and very real situation for myself and other EU students. The government is not giving us the answers we need and doesn’t seem to care.
"The insecurity and uncertainty is causing stress that should not be put on any student’s mental wellbeing. When I started my studies in Stornoway I made a choice to contribute to the community and student life here, Brexit makes these contributions seem invalid and often makes me as an EU student feel unwelcomed.
"It is like sitting between the seats. I shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not I can finish my studies if I will be able to afford extortionate fees in a year’s time or will be forced to leave the country I now call home.
"So many opportunities will be lost for so many as a direct result of Brexit. The government is acting in such an irresponsible way by trying to make out the effects will be minimal. They are making decisions that will directly impact our lives, our students and our communities in an awful way. I can’t stand by and just watch without acting.”
HISA Vice President of Higher Education Andrew Bowie said: "It's really exciting to be able to have the chance to take this group of passionate students down to London with us. This is a moment in history and one that will affect every single person in the country, young people and students most of all.
"We are also very proud at the University of the Highlands and Islands to boast a diverse community of students, and our international and EU students are one of the cornerstones of this fantastic diversity. It will be a travesty if more of them are forced to leave Scotland as a result of Brexit.
"We are marching in support of a people's vote, to give all the people of this country their rightful chance to have the final say on the UK’s relationship with the EU. Young people who were not heard last time deserve the right to be, and we are proud to be championing their voice this weekend."
Earlier. responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that he had struck a deal with the EU, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “The deal the Prime Minister has negotiated with the EU is great news for Scotland and the whole of the UK.
“This deal allows us to get Brexit sorted, and leave the EU in two weeks’ time as one United Kingdom.
“It is a real Brexit which ensures we take back control. For Scottish fishermen, this means taking back control of our fishing waters and freeing them from the hated Common Fisheries Policy. For Scotland’s farmers, we will create a new a system of support to help them prosper outside of the Common Agricultural Policy.
“We will no longer be bound by EU laws, and the Scottish Parliament will receive a raft of new powers as they return to the UK from Brussels. We will be able to strike our own trade deals around the world, opening up huge opportunities for businesses across Scotland.
“It is now time for Scottish MPs from all parties to vote for the Prime Minister’s deal and deliver the result of the referendum. It is time to put the national interest above political opportunism. If MPs do not vote for a deal then they are voting for no deal, and will have to explain that to their constituents.
“Outside of the EU, Scotland and the whole of the UK will thrive. We have a bright future as a country. People now expect their elected representatives to do their duty to deliver that.”