SNP lawmaker blames Tories for 'absurd' reports that Nicola Sturgeon has changed her mind on EU

SNP lawmaker blames Tories for absurd EU volte-face report

Nicola Sturgeon will seek approval for a Scottish referendum

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SNP lawmaker Kate Forbes has told talkRADIO that the Conservatives are behind new reports that her party has changed its mind on European Union membership.

Forbes told Julia Hartley-Brewer that such reports are "absurd" and insisted Nicola Sturgeon has no plans to abandon her quest to stay in the EU.

The Telegraph, a newspaper known for its conservative stance, claimed this morning that Ms Sturgeon is now ready to abandon her plans for an independent Scotland to join the EU, despite the fact that her recent push for independence has been predicated on opposition to Brexit.

The report suggests Ms Sturgeon has been perturbed by polls showing Scots are now more Eurosceptic than ever, and is now targeting membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) instead of the EU.

Forbes told Julia she believes "it’s absolutely absurd for the Tory party to be criticising our longstanding position. Our long-standing position is EU membership and that remains the case."

However she admitted that in December the SNP did look into EFTA "as part of a compromise" for Scotland's position on Brexit and they "spent a long time doing heavy-duty research."

Forbes added that "a majority of MSPs were elected" on a manifesto which stated that if circumstances in the UK change a referendum will be taken, and "it’s only right we honour that commitment."

If Theresa May delays the referendum until after Brexit, Forbes said, she would "hazard a guess that support for independence would rise."

Listen to the full interview above