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Danish grandmother speaks out on Brexit registration

Tove MacDonald spoke to Scotland Tonight about the enforced registration of EU nationals.

A Danish grandmother has spoken to STV of her concerns after EU nationals were asked to register with UK authorities ahead of Brexit.

Tove MacDonald, 87, has lived in Glasgow with her Scottish husband since 1960 and says she feels more Scottish than Danish.

However, the UK Government is now demanding all EU nationals need to apply for settled status after Brexit.

The ruling is expected to affect around 185,000 UK nationals living in Scotland.

Following an STV News interview with Ms MacDonald, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Watching this makes me feel sad and angry in equal measure.

"Tove, Danish born, has lived in Scotland for 59 years and asks this reasonable question - 'at 87, why do I have to register?'

"The one word answer is "Brexit". Tove - this is your home, Scotland wants you here."

With Ms Sturgeon's thoughts being echoed my many Scots, Ms MacDonald spoke to Scotland Tonight's John MacKay about how the ruling has affected her.

Here is a transcript of the interview.

John MacKay: Tove, tell me you've received a letter, what's that letter asking you to do?

Tove MacDonald: It asked me to register.

JM: As what?

TM: Because I'm a Danish citizen, I haven't got a British passport. I've got a Danish passport, because when I got married it wasn't necessary to change.

JM: How do you feel about that?

TM: I feel very very bad about it

JM: And why?

TM: I thought they will know everything about me. At 87, I don't see why I should (register).

JM: You've got a national insurance number?

TM: Yes, a national insurance number I had since I came. They know everything about me so I don't see why I have to register.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1436008-eu-citizens-brand-registration-insulting-ahead-of-brexit/ | default

JM: Tell me a wee bit about how you came to Scotland. You married your husband and came to Scotland in 1960.

TM: I met my husband in 1959, I came over within a year and in 61 we got married in Copenhagen.

JM: You've enjoyed living in Scotland?

TM: I love Scotland, I love the scenery here. I think it's a beautiful country. I love the people, the people are so friendly. Absolutely wonderful people.

JM: And you've enjoyed it here so much that you say you almost think of yourself more as Scottish than Danish.

TM: Absolutely.

JM: What you said to STV news of not understanding why you had to register, that's caused quite a lot of interest. The First Minister has been speaking, various MPs have been speaking.

TM: Yes. I'm very surprised at that.

JM: You weren't expecting that reaction?

TM: I didn't. I'm very surprised

JM: What did you make of the reaction?

TM: Some people didn't know about this. That people like me - I've got plenty of friends my age - had to register.

JM: And not all of your Danish friends who are in Scotland have been asked to do this?

TM: Some of them [my friends] never got a letter. I have a friend who's 90. Never got a letter.

JM: I know you think 'I shouldn't have to do this' but would it be a problem for you to have to register?

TM: Me personally, I might be able to get my daughter to help me and if I have to go to Edinburgh I can do that. But there's other people of my age that are not able to.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1436041-brexit-fears-of-scots-who-feel-abandoned-living-abroad/ | default

JM: In 1973 when Britain join the Common Market, up until that point Britain wasn't part of any European community, what was your position then, where you regarded as Danish, do you know what your position was?

TM: It was all this commerce I didn't quite understand. But what I know is the Danes and the British are very much alike. And they are very liked in Denmark. Always have been. Specially, when I was brought up during the German occupation, we just thought the British were wonderful and so they were because they came and liberated us.

JM: So how are you feeling now, you don't understand why you should be asked to register, but how are you feeling, are you feeling under pressure?

TM: I feel very very sad. I don't think it's very good for Britain to be in this position. If politicians could agree with what they have to do, but it doesn't seem the case.

JM: You were discussed in the Scottish Parliament today. The standing leader for the Scottish conservatives has said you'll get a phone call from a UK government minister. How do you feel about that?

TM: I'm very surprised, but it might be a good idea because other people might get to know about this thing, that I might call stupid.

JM: What do you think the UK government minister will say to you?

TM: I don't think he'll say he will reverse it. I don't know what he will say.

JM: What do you think is going to happen, Tove?

TM: I don't know. I really don't know what can happen, because they have made the decision that we are leaving Europe, which is a sad affair, but that's what they want.

JM: And you regard Scotland as your home?

TM: I certainly do. Yes.

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