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It would not be disengenuous to claim that most, if not all, Arran residents and a great many domiciled beyond these shores are by now aware of, and dismayed by, the Home Office-generated predicament of Mr and Mrs Malpas. I refer, of course, to Lizanne, front-of-house, and John, ‘Sandwichmeister,’ The Sandwich Station, Lochranza.
On 19 June 2019, Lizanne, a Southern African Citizen, who has been working in this country since 2016, had the application to renew her visa denied by the Home Office. This meant that she had to cease working immediately and leave the country without delay. Literally thousands (increasing daily), in Britain and abroad, uttered, via a variety of media, a collective expression of the query, ‘why?’
Why, indeed? Lizanne and her husband, John, a British citizen, have no criminal convictions. They entered this country as a couple in 2016 with a strong work ethic and genuine desire to make a new life for themselves in the UK. These facts are evidenced by their investment of their life savings in a local business and making this business so successful that, after just three years, The Sandwich Station is now VAT registered – supporting fully both Lizanne and John and employing three island residents.
The Malpas family and their successful business are assets, both socially and commercially, to the island in particular and the UK in general. They are not a burden on the state. They pay all taxes due by them – in many instances at both commercial and domestic rates.
In essence, unlike an unscrupulous minority who seek UK residency for less than laudable reasons, John and Lizanne came to this country to genuinely take advantage of opportunity, NOT to take advantage of the UK.
Regardless of one’s personal view on immigration, in keeping with our in-built British sense of decency, one should always ensure that fairness assumes primacy. Let us all support the efforts to ensure fairness prevails in this sorry saga and that Lizanne will soon be reunited with her husband, their friends, employees, customers and business for a happy and successful future in the UK.
In the words of Robert Wilson (1960) and no doubt constantly in the thoughts of John, ‘Haste Ye Back,’ Lizanne.
Peter and Vicki Milne,