Nicola Sturgeon calls for devolved government leaders to have input into EU renegotiation

 
Ashley Kirk
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The SNP leader rose to popularity as she took on the Prime Minister during the leaders debates in the General Election (Source: Getty)

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, has demanded that her views should be heard in David Cameron's renegotiation talks with the EU.

As the Prime Minister continues his discussions with EU leaders in a diplomatic blitz of Europe, Sturgeon called for a "forum" which would allow the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to have a "direct input" into his stance.

Sturgeon's move comes after Cameron has begun renegotiation talks with several EU leaders, including those from Germany, France and the EU Commission.

She believes the SNP - now the third-largest party in Westminster and the ruling party in Scotland - should have an input in further talks.

The first minister has previously called for a "double lock", which would mean the UK could only leave the EU if every party of the country voted to.

Sturgeon said:

The EU referendum will see a decision that will affect every part of these islands, and the UK government cannot ignore the devolved administrations when it comes to its negotiating stance.

Now that [the referendum] is taking place, it is absolutely essential that Scotland’s voice, and those of the other devolved administrations, is heard to ensure our interests are acknowledged – we cannot be kept in the dark.

That is why I am today calling for a forum to be identified which gives the devolved governments a direct input to the negotiations to ensure that our priorities are listened to and our vital interests are protected.

She is opposed to the restriction on free movement in the EU, but she wants to cut red tape in order to promote growth and allow decisions to be made at a regional level.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives told The Telegraph:

It is somewhat hypocritical for a party which didn't want a referendum and voted against a referendum to demand a say over our renegotiation ahead of that referendum.

Nonetheless, there is plenty of common ground between the UK government and the Scottish government on this matter, and we are sure our two governments can work well in putting that case forward.

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