‘Real chance’ for Scotland to remain in EU, says Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will launch the SNP’s European election manifesto in Glasgow on Friday Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

There is now a “real chance” to keep Scotland in the EU, with the future of the country at stake ahead of the European elections, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister will speak in Glasgow on Friday to launch the SNP’s European manifesto and will indicate that a vote for the party would send a message to Prime Minister Theresa May to stop Brexit and to stop ignoring Scotland.

Voters will head to the ballot box on Thursday next week, after Article 50 was extended until October.

In her speech at the city’s Barras Art and Design, the First Minister is expected to say:  “We have the opportunity to make Scotland’s voice heard. There is now a real chance to keep Scotland in the European Union.

“People in this city and across Scotland can send Theresa May a strong, resolute message – Stop Brexit. Stop ignoring Scotland.

“That message needs to be heard loud and clear in Downing Street and across Westminster. The way to send that message is to vote SNP.”

SNP MEP Alyn Smith heads the party’s list of candidates for the election, followed by Christian Allard, Aileen McLeod, Margaret Ferrier, Heather Anderson, and Alex Kerr.

Parties rank their preferred six candidates, with the number elected proportional to the share of votes received.

The First Minister is expected to add: “This is an election the Tories never wanted. They wanted Scotland to be out of the EU by now.

“They’ve ignored the overwhelming vote in Scotland to remain, they’ve dismissed all attempts at compromise from the Scottish Government and they’ve disregarded – time and time again – the views of the Scottish Parliament.

“Taking Scotland out of the EU against our will does not deliver on the result of the referendum.

“For people in Scotland, pressing ahead with Brexit doesn’t deliver on the referendum – it overturns that referendum.

“It demonstrates why we in Scotland must – absolutely must – keep our options open at this critical time. The future of our country is at stake.”