Scotland’s Sturgeon to criticise Cameron on EU membership

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to criticise British PM David Cameron on playing ‘fast and loose’ with UK’s place in EU during SNP conference today

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) gives a thumbs up after addressing delegates on the first day of the SNP conference in Aberdeen on October 15, 2015

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is expected to criticise British Prime Minister David Cameron of playing “fast and loose” with UK’s place in the EU in her speech at the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) conference today.

"David Cameron might play fast and loose with our place in Europe, but be in no doubt - the SNP will campaign positively for Scotland, and the UK, to stay in the European Union," she is expected to say according to advance extracts of her conference speech.

In 2013, Cameron had promised a referendum on the EU membership by the end of 2017, due to the pressure from lawmakers who feared that the anti-EU UK Independence Party might win the elections. However, analysts and campaigners believe that the referendum could be called next year.

Sturgeon, whose party was in favor of independence from the UK in last year’s referendum, criticised Cameron for encouraging the Eurosceptics.

She is expected to say that "We despair at the failure of leadership of a prime minister pandering to Eurosceptics in his party, but unable to articulate clearly and precisely what it is he is seeking to renegotiate."

The PM promised to negotiate with EU before the referendum, although he has not clarified his demands yet. Earlier this week, he said he would clarify his long awaited EU renegotiation requests next month.

Sturgeon also declared that Britain’s leaving the union would trigger independence of Scotland, an issue that gathered steam after the independence referendum.

Public polls show that the willingness to remain in the EU is higher in Scotland than the whole of Britain.

Support for SNP increased sharply after the 2014 referendum. In 2015 UK general election, SNP won 56 out of 59 parliamentary seats coming from Scotland, in a sharp hike from 6 seats they got in the previous election.

TRTWorld and agencies