EU elections: Nicola Sturgeon urges Scotland to send ‘stop Brexit’ message | Politics News
The European Parliament elections are a “golden opportunity” for Scottish voters to deliver a “stop Brexit” message, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Scottish first minister and SNP leader claimed the 23 May poll is “by far the most important European election in Scotland’s history”.
Speaking at the launch of her party’s election campaign in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon urged her country’s voters to “send this message: Scotland is not for Brexit, Scotland is for Europe”.
Ms Sturgeon attacked the “Westminster chaos” as she rebuked both Labour and the Conservatives over Brexit.
Scotland will elect six MEPs on 23 May, although the UK government still hopes – if a Brexit deal is ratified soon and the UK’s exit from the EU finally agreed – they will not have to take their seats in the European Parliament at the beginning of its new term in July.
However, Ms Sturgeon outlined her hope the result of the ballot could deliver a pro-Remain mandate.
She said: “By voting SNP, people in Scotland can send a clear and an unequivocal message to Theresa May that we are determined to do so: that Scotland is for Europe.
“The message we will send is this one: Scotland has had enough of being ignored, Scotland has had enough of the Westminster chaos and Scotland does not want Brexit.”
She added: “Vote SNP to stop Brexit and vote SNP to keep Scotland at the very heart of Europe.”
Criticising both of the main parties at Westminster, Ms Sturgeon claimed it was “depressing just how close together Labour and the Tories are on Brexit”.
“On this defining issue of our time, Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have so much more in common than they like to pretend,” she said.
“They both want to take Scotland and the UK out of the EU. There is no escaping the fact that Labour is a pro-Brexit party, just as the Tories are a pro-Brexit party.
“They both favour a hard Brexit, with Scotland not just removed from the EU but removed from the single market as well.
“If the Labour Party becomes the handmaiden of a Tory Brexit it will never be forgiven, not in Scotland and not by hundreds of thousands of young people the length and breadth of the UK.
Ms Sturgeon said her party’s position was that any Brexit deal agreed by Westminster must be put to a second referendum.
“No ifs, no buts, the people must have the final say in a people’s vote,” she said.
Ms Sturgeon insisted, if the UK was heading for a no-deal departure from the EU, then the Article 50 notification of the country’s exit must be revoked.
She also reiterated her determination to see another Scottish independence referendum before the end of the current Scottish Parliament term in May 2021.
Noting how Finland and Croatia are due to hold the rotating EU presidency over the next year, Ms Surgeon said: “Nations of similar size to Scotland that are – to coin a phrase – not leaving the EU but leading the EU.
“For Scotland, contributing to and benefiting from the EU will be just one of the great advantages of being an independent nation.”
The SNP was one of several parties to launch their election campaigns on Thursday.
Mr Corbyn accused Nigel Farage of selling voters “snake oil” as he launched the Labour’s campaign.