Nicola Sturgeon has sent an “unequivocal message” to Theresa May that “Scotland does not want Brexit”, as she launched the SNP’s campaign for the European elections.
The Scottish First Minister joined the party’s six election candidates in Edinburgh for the launch, and demanded any Brexit deal must be put back to the people in a second referendum.
She said: “Let me make the SNP position crystal clear: if a Brexit deal is agreed at Westminster, it must be put back to the people.
“No ifs, no buts, the people must have the final say.”
Discussing the position of Labour and the Conservatives, Ms Sturgeon claimed both want a hard Brexit and she described their closeness as “depressing”.
She warned against “shady backroom deals” between the Prime Minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and added: “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.”
Describing the vote on May 23 as “by far the most important European election in Scotland’s history”, she said: “At stake is not just which parties and which candidates will be elected to the European Parliament, at stake also is whether Scotland can remain inside the European Union at all.
“By voting SNP, people in Scotland can send a clear and 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.”
Speaking at Dynamic Earth near the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon added: “The fact is that this Tory Government now thinks they can do anything to Scotland and get away with it. We must prove them wrong.”
She also claimed the perceived treatment of Scotland by the UK Government during the Brexit process has highlighted the case for Scottish independence.
“The solidarity shown by the European Union to Ireland has shone a light on exactly why Scotland should be an independent country,” she said.
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw responded to the SNP’s campaign launch, saying: “Nicola Sturgeon’s grievance-laden speech is yet further evidence of her real priority – not to come up with a sensible plan to deliver Brexit, but to use Brexit to push her only priority, another referendum on independence.
“These elections on May 23 are our chance to say no to Nicola Sturgeon and no to any more referendums – whether on independence or the European Union.
“The choice is clear: Nicola Sturgeon has never met a referendum result she accepts.
“Our position is to respect the results of the referendum and get on with delivering a deal that backs our fishermen and our businesses, so we can all move on.”
- Press Association