Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will say in a keynote speech on Monday that she wants the EU referendum vote to result in an overwhelming victory, across all parts of the UK, for remaining in the European Union.
Speaking to an audience of 700 at St John’s Smith Square, London, Sturgeon will argue that Scotland and the UK should seek to reform the European Union from the inside rather than be a voice on the outside.
The First Minister is expected to say: “Having access to the European Single Market has removed barriers to trade and gives freedom to move capital, people, good and services — but the EU is not simply an economic union, it is so much more than that.
“Being part of the EU is also about solidarity, social protection and mutual support.
“This has become even more evident in the recent months, with independent members of the EU working collectively on pressing global challenges such as the movement of refugees and migrants, energy security and climate change.
“By working together within the EU, we can achieve far more and make a real difference to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
“It’s clear that being a member of the EU has its benefits, but with any institution improvements can be made.
“If we are to influence positive change in Europe, we must remain within the EU – only that guarantees a role in the EU decision-making processes on issues that affect our everyday lives.”
Sturgeon will say the Scottish Government believes that EU membership is in the best interests of Scotland. The referendum will be held on June 23.
“For more than 40 years, membership of the European Union has been good for the prosperity and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities across the country.
“I want the vote on 23 June to result in an overwhelming victory, across all parts of the UK, for remaining in the European Union.
“I will campaign wholeheartedly to achieve that result. And although my main role will obviously be to campaign in Scotland, many of the points I’ll be making are of course also relevant to the debate across the UK.”