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SNP and UKIP offer false choice on Europe

May 20, 2014 4:42 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Senior Liberal Democrats have warned that the SNP and UKIP areDanny AlexanderDanny Alexander presenting a "false choice" to Scottish voters ahead of the European elections on Thursday.

Top candidate George Lyon MEP joined Danny Alexander MP and Charles Kennedy MP on the campaign trail in Inverness as Scottish Liberal Democrats continue to be the only party making the positive case for Scotland remaining in Britain and in Europe.

330,000 jobs in Scotland, including 14,000 in the Highlands, depend on Scotland's place in the world's largest single market.

Mr Alexander warned that the SNP and UKIP are putting jobs, investment and the economic recovery at risk by playing a game of brinkmanship with EU membership.

Commenting, Highland MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

"The SNP and UKIP offer a false choice in this election. Although very different parties, their plans to pull us out of the UK and wrench us out of the EU would have exactly the same damaging effect on Scotland and our economy.

"Both believe in narrow-minded nationalism and both are bringing our relationship with Europe to the brink.

"The SNP tell us that their European renegotiation will be seamless, protecting all the opt-outs Scotland shares as part of the UK. But the SNP cannot dictate the terms on which they co-operate with other states, cherry-picking what they like and rejecting everything else.

"A vote for UKIP or the SNP on Thursday will give succour to those who want to isolate Scotland and put the economic recovery at risk.

"The Highlands needs a liberal Lyon to fight for our interests in Brussels again. George is the only MEP who has really stood up for our area over the last 5 years - votes from the North of Scotland can make sure he does so again."

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy MP said:

"Liberal Democrats have been bold, brave and upfront during the European Elections.

"Other parties have gone out of their way to avoid talking about Europe - and it is easy to see why. Liberal Democrats are the only party with anything positive to say about the EU and the opportunity it affords us.

"I am unapologetic about being pro-European. Yes, Europe can and must be reformed and improved but we should do that from within, as part of the club, not holding a membership form with a list of demands attached."

George Lyon MEP added:

"The economic recovery we are now seeing has been hard won. Throwing that away by pulling back from the opportunities for trade and investment that the EU offers would be an act of grotesque folly.

"The choice isn't between the SNP and UKIP. The choice is between growth and stagnation, between investment and isolation, between opportunity and uncertainty.

"Being in Britain and in Europe means keeping Scots in work.
"Scotland needs MEPs entirely focused on keeping jobs and investment coming to Scotland from our European partners - not preoccupied with jeopardising our place at Europe's top table.

"Use your vote on Thursday, make your voice heard, and make it clear that Scotland is stronger in Britain and in Europe."