First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says to make change in Europe we must remain in the EU ahead of June referendum

James Nickerson
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Leader Of The SNP Nicola Sturgeon Gives A Speech On Child Poverty
Sturgeon wants to make a positive case for the EU (Source: Getty)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon desperately wants the United Kingdom to vote to remain in the European Union, arguing it is the only way to make real change.

Speaking at the Resolution Foundation, Sturgeon said that if the UK is to influence positive change in Europe, we must remain within the EU.

Sturgeon echoed other Remain campaigners by saying that if the UK votes to leave, given it would still want access to the Single Market, the country would have to comply with directives without being able to shape or influence them.

"The EU is inevitably an imperfect organisation. But we should, in my belief, work in good faith with our partners to make it better. We should help to create the Europe we want to see," she said.

Read more: Is Labour hurting itself by campaigning to stay in the EU?

But the leader of the Scottish National Party added that she had concerns about the EU's democratic credentials, citing the handling of the Greek debt crisis as something that concerned her.

The intervention comes ahead of the impending EU referendum in June, where Scots are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of the UK's continued membership of the EU.

Sturgeon added at the event in London that she will be making a positive case for the EU, not one based on fear of leaving.

Prime Minister David Cameron has previously said leaving the EU would be a "leap in the dark", prompting the First Minister to warn Cameron against fighting a "miserable, negative, fear-based" campaign.

Read more: Could a Brexit vote lead to a second Scottish independence referendum?

"In some respects, the EU can be and is part of the solution. It’s worth looking at some of the social protections the EU has established, which benefit everyone in the UK, but often aren’t attributed to the EU," Sturgeon said.

Today's intervention adds weight to comments Sturgeon has previously made, as she reiterated claims that she would regard the UK voting to leave the EU, but Scotland voting to remain, as a "trigger" justifying a second Scottish independence referendum.

That view has been repeated by the likes of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, former foreign secretary William Hague and even former EU chief Herman van Rompuy.

Still, it's been disregarded by many too, including Iain Duncan Smith, one of the ministers who broke ranks from the government position and is campaigning for Brexit.

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