THEY’RE both elderly now, and both came to Scotland 59 years ago.

Tove arrived from Copenhagan, her family having lived through the German occupation. She speaks with a Scottish accent, married a Macdonald and had two children. (Her wedding picture, complete with piper, features her husband in full Highland dress.)

Scotland, she says, is her home. She loves it here. She has nowhere else to go. And thus she is perplexed by having been sent a form from the Home Office demanding she register to prove her identity and her status before settled status can be considered.

Tina arrived here from Rome at almost exactly the same time, part of the influx of post war Italian families who have so enriched Scottish culture and cuisine.

She, too, has been asked to register in spite of being resident in Scotland for six decades. There are some 160,000 European citizens living in Scotland at the moment, all finding themselves having to explain who they are and why they are here.

And Tove and Tina are not alone: you might remember that just a few weeks ago the Advertiser reported on Helensburgh resident Gudrun Black, who fears she may not be allowed to stay in Scotland - her home for more than 40 years - and be forced to return to her native Germany after Brexit.

READ MORE: Helensburgh woman: 'I'm scared I'll be sent back to Germany after Brexit'.

For the younger, more tech savvy, it is an irritation as well as a nagging worry about their future.

For the elderly, least likely to be in possession of an Android device – the perverse platform of choice by the Home Office for electronic responses – it is the kind of shock which adds the insult of panic to the injury of having their relationship with their long since adopted homeland suddenly called into question.

As the Windrush scandal amply demonstrated, the Home Office in London cannot be trusted with the administration of anything remotely sensitive.

The Home Office, remember, is that cuddly department of government which sent vans round urging migrants to go back home. And deported Caribbean born British residents who had lived here all their adult lives.

They also had to be bullied out of wanting to charge residents £60 to prove they were who they are.

Scotland, which has no control over migration, has assured all its foreign born residents that they are more than welcome. (The government had already promised to reimburse any fees.)

But it’s inevitably a hollow reassurance when it can’t be enforced without the powers to do so.

So here we are watching some elderly Scots being unnecessarily frightened, some bright students unable to commit to four year university courses since the settled status only covers three before you need to re-apply, and thousands of casual seasonal workers currently unsure whether they can continue to work for Scottish agriculture and increasingly committing to going elsewhere in Europe this summer and autumn.

We are a sparsely populated country in need of new blood and fresh talents, as well as additions to the local workforces. We are also a country officially committed to cherishing the new Scots already long settled here.

But we are also helpless to prevent lovely old ladies like Tove and Tina from being harassed at a time when they should be enjoying playing with their Scottish grandchildren in their Scottish homes.