Scottish Conservatives launch European election manifesto

Scottish Tory party leader Ruth Davidson said a vote for the party was a vote for the UK to use its weight in Europe to reform the EU

The Scottish Conservatives have reaffirmed backing for an in-out referendum on the EU at the launch of their 2014 European election manifesto.

Party leader Ruth Davidson said a vote for the Scottish Conservatives was one to support reform in Europe.

She accused Labour and the SNP of "bottling" the challenge of EU reform.

The Conservatives have promised an in-out referendum on EU membership in 2017, if they remain in power at Westminster.

Launching her party's manifesto, Ms Davidson said: "The Scottish Conservatives are the only party at this election who are acting on the wishes of the people of Scotland.

"The evidence shows that nearly 60% of Scots want a referendum. That's exactly what the Scottish Conservatives, within the UK, can deliver.

"As part of the UK, Scotland can be part of a new deal that renews our relationship with Europe."

Ms Davidson said the SNP and Labour were denying the wishes of their supporters on EU reform.

She said she wanted Scotland and the UK to stay in the EU, but argued that it needed reform, adding: "Bottling that challenge - as both the SNP and Labour are doing - is to ignore the wishes of voters, and means the necessary change that will help Europe prosper will not come about."

Ms Davidson said the party, which won one Scottish seat in the last European Parliament election, would appear on the ballot paper as: "Scottish Conservatives - No to Independence".

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