I am a previous ‘no’ voter, but, as everyone else I spoke to today in the light of the EU referendum results, I would whole-heartedly offer my YES vote if another Scottish Independence referendum was to be held.
I know you must be receiving thousands of similar messages today, but I am really desperate to finally be heard. As a Polish national, I was not allowed to vote yesterday, even though the outcome may severely affect me and thousands like me.
The reason I voted ‘no’ in 2014 was purely and simply because I wanted Scotland to stay in the European Union and that seemed like the safest if not the only way at the time. However now, with the same principle in mind, I wouldn’t think twice of casting a ‘yes’ vote.
Scotland has been my home for the past 10 years. I have not been unemployed for a single day during that time – I came here with a job in Edinburgh already waiting for me. I have been paying taxes and contributed thousands of pounds to this country’s economy. I have never claimed any benefits. I proudly took my postgraduate degree from Edinburgh University. I now work for a company whose at least 75% employees are from outside the UK, and for a good reason – as a tour operator bringing tourists to Scotland, we employ people from Europe who speak a variety of European languages, the languages of our clients.
My entire life is here – just earlier this week I paid a deposit for a house which I intend to live in and pay off for many years to come. I am in a loving, long-term relationship with a Scottish man and cannot imagine my life without him, especially that if I was forced to leave, he wouldn’t be able to go with me as his child lives here in Scotland. I am gutted that I was forced to be voiceless in the EU referendum and absolutely terrified to think what might happen to me next. Will I lose my job, my house, my family? ”Depression” doesn’t even begin to cover my feelings at the moment.
Ms Sturgeon reached out to people like me today and told us we were welcome and valued here. This is how I have always felt in Scotland; I have always felt at home. Ms Sturgeon’s words brought literal tears to my eyes as for the first time in months I finally felt acknowledged.
Please do not forsake us, European on paper but very much Scottish at heart. There isn’t a single place in the world I’d rather live. I am proud to be a Scottish resident, proud of how Scotland voted yesterday and want to devote all I’ve got – hard work, tax money and true love and passion for this place – to Scotland.