First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has today announced the formation of the SNP ‘In’ Europe campaign – as she said the SNP will make the “positive, progressive and upbeat” case for retaining Scotland’s place in Europe.
The announcement comes ahead of a major speech by the First Minister in London on Monday where she will set out her arguments for continued UK membership of the EU.
The First Minister, who will be at the forefront of the SNP’s campaign to remain in the EU, confirmed that Europe Minister Humza Yousaf MSP will serve as Campaign Director, with SNP Westminster spokesperson on Europe, Stephen Gethins MP, acting as Deputy Campaign Director.
The core campaign team will also include Christina McKelvie MSP –Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Europe Committee and Chair of the SNP MSPs Trade Union Group – and businesswoman and Entrepreneur Marie MacKlin CBE.
Announcing the formation of SNP In Europe, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Over the coming weeks and months, I and the SNP will be leading a positive, progressive and upbeat campaign in Scotland to stay in Europe – and while polls show that people in Scotland are in favour of continuing our membership there is no room for complacency.
“EU membership brings real benefits to people in Scotland. Our membership supports jobs, investment, exports, collective security and so many of the social and employment protections we often take for granted. While I believe that the best option for Scotland would be to become one of the independent member states of the EU, I believe that in all circumstances we are better off in.
“One of the main advantages of the case for ‘in’ is the strength of working alongside our European friends and allies in our collective interest, and the stark contrast with the dismal isolationism put forward by many of the backers of withdrawing from the EU. I am confident that the team we’ve announced today under Humza Yousaf will make this case passionately and persuasively in the lead-up to June 23rd.”
Campaign Director and Scottish Government Europe Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“We know that the EU is by no means a perfect institution – but it allows its members to work together to more effectively tackle major issues which don’t respect national boundaries.
“From the refugee crisis to climate change, there are serious issues facing our continent which need a co-ordinated, Europe-wide approach – and we want Scotland and the UK to play our part in that, rather than standing on the sidelines.
“It’s no secret that the SNP would rather Scotland was able to play our part in the European family of nations as an independent member state – but we are equally clear that it is better for Scotland in all circumstances to stay in and we will work tirelessly to make that happen.
“Over the coming weeks as well as key politicians in the SNP making the case for membership of the EU we will be reaching out to members of Scotland’s business community, our rural economy and civic Scotland to build support for continued membership of the EU.
“It’s also vitally important that those campaigning to retain our place in Europe learn lessons from the independence referendum – the ‘in’ campaign must ensure that it does not allow itself to lapse into the scaremongering and fear agenda we saw from the No campaign in Scotland.
“There is a strong, positive, progressive case for staying in Europe and the SNP will make it loudly and clearly in the weeks to come – and everyone who wants to see the UK vote to remain in the EU should commit to doing the same.”