Scotland politics

EU elections: Scottish Lib Dems vow to end 'constitutional shambles'

manifesto launch
Image caption The Scottish Lib Dems have put "stop Brexit" at the core of their campaign

The Scottish Lib Dems have pledged to "stop the constitutional shambles" as they launched their manifesto for the coming European elections.

The UK goes to the polls to elect MEPs on 23 May, despite ongoing negotiations about the country's exit from the EU.

Leader Willie Rennie said the Lib Dems were "absolutely four-square behind staying in the EU and stopping Brexit".

And he said his party was the only one north of the border which also opposes a fresh referendum on independence.

The party's manifesto - launched by Mr Rennie and the party's candidates at a climbing centre in Edinburgh - features the words "stop Brexit" on the front cover, and promises that "every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stay in the European Union".

It continues: "Instead of letting Brexit consume the next decade, let's focus on tackling climate change, building the best health and education systems in the world, and talking the inequalities that limit life chances for so many people."

Pledges in the manifesto include:

  • Defence of "core European values" like freedom of movement
  • Work to target a "zero-carbon Britain" by 2045
  • Improving the efficiency of EU institutions, such as having a single base for the European Parliament in Brussels
Image caption Willie Rennie said a new Scottish independence campaign would "repeat the mistakes of Brexit"

The party's lead candidate Sheila Ritchie told BBC Scotland that the Lib Dems are "the only party standing in Scotland that can stop the constitutional shambles".

She said: "It's pretty clear to us that the majority of voters have already demonstrated that they want to remain in the United Kingdom, they've also demonstrated hat they also want to remain in the EU. We are the only party standing for that in these elections."

Mr Rennie added: "If there's one thing that we've learned over the last few years is that breaking up long-term economic partnerships is incredibly difficult. In fact it's a disastrous approach.

"So the one thing we are determined not to do is repeat the mistakes of Brexit and have another independence campaign. That would cause more damage and division to our country."

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