A Scottish MP who previously worked in Brussels has said the city stands for the “very best” in what terrorists “hate most”.
The SNP’s Stephen Gethins, who is his party’s Europe spokesman at Westminster, described the news devastating.
Previously a special adviser on Europe to Scotland’s first minister and a political adviser with the Committee of the Regions in the EU, he spent four years living in Brussels.
Responding to the news of the attacks, the Fife MP said: “Brussels is a wonderful city, multi-national and cultured with people living and working together from across the globe.
“It stands for the very best in what these terrorists hate most.
“I know that Bruxelloise of all nationalities and backgrounds will be resilient in the face of these horrors.”
His call was echoed by politicians across the spectrum who joined forces in condemning the atrocities.
David Cameron called on European countries to “stand together” to make sure the terrorists “can never win”.
He also confirmed Britain had offered “every support” to Belgium, promising full backing in a phone call with his counter-part Charles Michel after chairing a 40-minute meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee.
“These were attacks in Belgium. They could just as well be attacks in Britain or France or Germany or elsewhere in Europe,” the prime minister added.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said the UK would not allow “those who seek to divide us to succeed”.
He added: “We must defend our security and values in the face of such terrorist outrages, and refuse to be drawn into a cycle of violence and hatred.”
The UK’s overall threat level remained at severe yesterday – meaning an attack is “highly likely” – but police presence was being reinforced at ports, airports, on the Underground and at international rail stations.
As well as offering practical support, the PM’s official spokeswoman said arrangements were being made to lower flags to half mast on government buildings and to raise the Belgian flag over Downing Street as a mark of respect for the victims.
Following the Cobra meeting, Number 10 said one British national was known to have been injured in the attack on the airport and was receiving consular assistance.
At the start of his Budget speech in the Commons chamber, George Osborne urged the British people to be “vigilant” and confirmed Home Secretary Theresa May would keep the House updated.
The chancellor, who attended the Cobra meeting, added: “Let’s be clear – terrorists seek to threaten our values and our way of life and they will never succeed.”
He said the attacks were a “reminder of what a precious thing our democracy is.”