Sturgeon To Back Remain In TV Debate

9 June 2016, 08:13 | Updated: 9 June 2016, 08:32

nicola sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon will tell a UK audience that countries should be "independent and interdependent'' in her bid to convince voters to remain in the European Union.

The SNP leader will go head-to-head with former London mayor Boris Johnson in a Brexit debate on ITV on Thursday night.

Ms Sturgeon is campaigning to keep the UK in the EU - before setting her sights on a refreshed campaign to take Scotland out of the UK.

She stressed "independence and interdependence go hand in hand'' and said the EU "is about 28 independent countries choosing to pool some sovereignty for the benefit of us all''.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Ms Sturgeon said: "I believe our future will be fairer, more secure and more prosperous as part of Europe, and that is the case I will be making in tonight's debate.

"I will be arguing the positive, progressive case for continued EU membership from a distinct Scottish perspective - but also outlining why I think staying in will be better for the UK as a whole.

"I believe that countries should be independent - but in the modern world, I also passionately believe that independent countries must work together.

"And independence and interdependence go hand in hand in the 21st century. The EU is about 28 independent countries choosing to pool some sovereignty for the benefit of us all.

"The UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and the other members are all independent countries - but independent countries who choose to work together on common global challenges such as climate change.

"A vote to stay in the EU means continued access to a single market of more than half a billion people, guaranteed protections for workers and the freedom for all of us to travel freely across the continent.

"These are just some of the things that people should vote to protect on June 23rd - for themselves, for their families and for future generations.''

Ms Sturgeon outlined her priorities to Holyrood last month after she was re-elected to lead a reduced minority Scottish Government.

She said a key early priority will be to bring parties together to defend Scotland's place in the EU.

She also pledged to "continue to build the case for Scotland to become independent'' - insisting this is "a position backed by a majority of MSPs in this chamber'' as six Green MSPs are also in favour of taking Scotland out of the UK.