Scotland politics

SNP launches European election campaign

Media captionAlex Salmond has said he believes the EU needs to be reformed in terms of its decision-making and regulatory framework

A strong team of SNP MEPs under Scottish independence is the best way to represent the nation in Brussels, party leader Alex Salmond has said.

Launching his party's European election campaign, the Scottish first minister said Westminster had let Scotland down.

He said a vote for the SNP on 22 May would ensure Scotland's interests were always represented.

The last Euro election saw the SNP win two out of Scotland's six European Parliament seats.

The 2014 poll is the last election before the Scottish independence referendum, on 18 September.

Speaking at the Moredun Research Institute, outside Edinburgh, Mr Salmond said Scotland had benefitted from European funding worth hundreds of millions since 2007.

He said this was now at risk because of Prime Minister David Cameron's offer of a referendum on EU membership in 2017.

"Scotland and the EU have worked as partners for more than 40 years and in research and in renewable resources, in fishing and in oil and gas, Scotland brings as much to the EU as the EU contributes to Scotland," Mr Salmond said.

"Being an active part of the EU has helped to create thousands of jobs in Scotland - jobs which are threatened by the Westminster parties' obsessive anti-European agenda.

"Westminster's short-sighted priorities have let Scotland down time and time again. We need the opportunity to speak with our own voice in Europe to build on the positive relationships with our neighbours Scotland has already established."

The SNP also unveiled its manifesto, ahead of the election.

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