THE SNP’s Amanda Burgauer says that Brexit will be ‘incredibly damaging’ for rural Scotland.

Last week the SNP’s candidate for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, Amanda Burgauer, was asked why she opposed Brexit.

Speaking at the Eskdale Hotel in Langholm, she said: “The idea of leaving the EU is something which I would not like to see, and I’ve looked at the economic impact of Brexit on rural Scotland, and the social impact, and it is just incredibly damaging. 

“We are a country with a very small population, and an ageing population, and EU citizens who are non-UK based are really vital to growing Scotland’s economy and especially the rural economy. 

“These people are very much a part of our rural communities and losing them will hurt a lot. We’ve already lost some, they’ve looked around and looked at the climate and they’ve already returned to their countries.

“There are people working at the Royal Infirmary in Dumfries from all over the world, but EU citizens form a major part of that workforce and we can’t afford to lose them.

“Those are the kind of issues which really affect Scotland our attitude towards people who have come to live and work in Scotland are perhaps different from those you find elsewhere in the UK.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she will use December’s general election as a mandate for a second independence referendum, if the SNP once again acquire a majority of Scottish seats in the House of Commons. 

In Langholm, Ms Burgauer was asked: “Do you believe there are similarities between those who want the UK to leave the EU and those who want Scotland to leave the UK? You mentioned there are economic arguments for opposing Brexit, but aren’t there economic arguments for Scotland remaining in the UK?”

She replied: “I think it’s about who decides and makes policy decisions for Scotland. If we look at the percentage of UK law that is affected by the EU, it’s quite a small amount, under 15% or something.

“If you look at the amount of legislation for policies that are set for Scotland at Westminster, it’s about 85%, so there comes a point where the policies which are right for the south of England are not the ones that are going to give us economic growth and stability here. 

“It’s only right that we make the decisions in the best interests of this constituency.”

Ms Burgauer was also asked what has changed since the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. She said: “This election, really is about two things for our constituency: one of them is about preventing a Conservative majority of what is potentially the most right wing government we’ve seen since the second world war; and the other is Brexit. 

“We need to escape from Brexit because of the damage it’s going to do to Scotland.

“Everybody knows that the Scottish National Party and I support independence for Scotland, I don’t think that’s a question on the doorsteps at all, but I think this general election needs to cover the idea about who is going to make the decisions for Scotland. 

“Should we be deciding on things like Brexit here in Scotland or should we leave that to Boris Johnson?”

Voting for the general election will be held on Thursday December 12.