SCOTTISH Labour’s Kezia Dugdale will attack the Tory government’s refusal to guarantee the rights of EU nationals, calling it “sickening”, in a speech today to mark Europe Day.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Dugdale will call on Ruth Davidson to make a commitment promising citizens from European countries can remain in the UK with no change to their status.

“The Tories have used people like poker chips since the EU referendum. It’s sickening, it’s wrong and it needs to stop," she will say. “Labour’s manifesto will guarantee the rights of EU nationals. This goes to the very heart about who we are as a country. There are over 180,000 EU nationals currently living and working in Scotland and they make a rich contribution to our society and economy.

“In Edinburgh, EU nationals are vital to our capital’s economy, and Ian Murray will always fight for their rights in Edinburgh South.

“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories need to match Labour’s commitment and guarantee beyond doubt that EU nationals will be able to continue to live and work in Scotland after we leave the EU.”

New analysis in the Times Educational Supplement suggests a quarter of all academics at the Russell Group of prestigious, research-intensive universities are from the EU, leaving the institutions particularly vulnerable.