Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Nicola Sturgeon ‘fighting for European future’ on visit to Berlin

Five years after Scots voted to stay in the UK, the First Minister is in the German capital.

Nicola Sturgeon meeting German minister for Europe Michael Roth (Scottish Parliament/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon meeting German minister for Europe Michael Roth (Scottish Parliament/PA)

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Scotland’s First Minister said she was “fighting” for a European future as she visited Berlin.

Five years on from Scots voting to stay in the UK in the 2014 independence referendum, Nicola Sturgeon was in the German capital to talk to government and business leaders there.

While the UK is due to leave the European Union at the end of October, Ms Sturgeon stressed that Scotland was an “outward-looking European nation” – as she pledged to do “everything” in her power to try to halt a possible no-deal Brexit.

Two years after Scots rejected independence, voters backed keeping the UK in the EU – however the UK as a whole voted to leave.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “In #indyref UK politicians told us that independence would see us thrown out of the EU.

“Today, five years on, I’m in Germany fighting for an EU future that we stand to lose because we are not independent. Scotland’s future belongs in Scotland’s hands. #StillYes #indyref2.”

The First Minister, who is meeting the German Europe minister Michael Roth as well as members of the German Council on Foreign Relations and the German Chambers of Commerce,  insisted that Scotland’s “desire for continued EU membership is about far more than self-interest”.

The SNP leader added: “The EU’s fundamental values are ones we cherish – freedom, democracy, the rule of law, equality, and respect for human dignity and human rights.

“Scotland clearly benefits from EU membership.

“It is good for our businesses, our universities, and our people – who have the freedom to study, live and work across the continent.

“Scotland has also been enriched by the many EU citizens who have done us the honour of making Scotland their home.

“There is still a very real risk of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal. That would damage our economy and communities and I will do everything in my power to stop that happening.

“With the current Brexit deadline approaching it is important that our friends and neighbours in the EU know that Scotland remains a committed European nation and that we will continue to work with our EU nations on key issues including tackling the climate emergency.

“At a time when the rule-based international order is under threat, the EU exemplifies the benefits of co-operation and solidarity.

“For all of these reasons Scotland sees the EU as a natural home.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph