Scotland politics

SNP's Westminster leader calls for June EU vote to be ruled out

House of Commons Image copyright PA
Image caption The issue of Europe was being discussed by members of the House of Commons

The leader of the SNP at Westminster wants a June referendum on Britain's membership of the EU to be ruled out.

Speaking in the Commons, Angus Robertson said out of respect to the devolved nations the vote should not take place before the summer.

It has been mooted that the ballot could be held on 23 June, just weeks after parliamentary elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Europe Minister David Lidington said no date had yet been set.

He added that negotiations involving Prime Minister David Cameron and EU politicians had still to be concluded.

What are these six party leaders saying about Europe?

The issue was raised in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon following the publication of proposed changes to the UK's relationship with the EU.

Mr Cameron believed that the draft deal delivered the "substantial change" he wanted.

But he added that there was "detail to be worked on" before a crunch summit on 18-19 February.

The deal, published in a letter by European Council President Donald Tusk, would allow for an "emergency brake" on migrant benefits.

The Scottish government, which wants Britain to stay in the EU, said it would now be studying the deal.

Holyrood's Europe Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "We have not been consulted on the detail of these latest proposals so will need time to study them and their implications for Scotland. But if we are to influence positive change in Europe, we must preserve our EU membership."

She added that she was "strongly opposed" to a referendum in June.

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