AN SNP MEP has appealed for international observers to monitor the European election in the UK in case pro-Brexit campaigners break the law.

Alyn Smith told the European parliament in Strasbourg that he did not trust the “domestic authorities” and warned MEPs to beware of the rise in populism and misinformation.

He said: “I have to say, frankly, the UK’s democracy is in trouble, and I urge you to send international observers to make sure our European elections are properly conducted. Because I don’t have faith in our domestic authorities.”

Referring to illegality during the EU referendum, he said: “It’s proven the Leave campaigns lied, it’s proven they broke electoral law, data protection law, campaign finance rules. And there is every indication they will do it again.

“This election’s going to be a fight for Europe. It’s going to be a fight for international solidarity. My party in Scotland stands ready. You can count on us. I hope that we can count on you also.”

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe already sends monitors to UK general elections at the request of the UK, but not EU elections.

Mr Smith’s call came after EU council president Donald Tusk hinted at another Brexit delay, by saying British MEPs elected next month might stay beyond the new October 31 deadline.

He also said he still nursed a “dream” that Brexit would be abandoned.

The EU election is due to take place in the UK on May 23 unless Theresa May can, against the odds, secure approval for her Brexit deal by May 22.

“One of the consequences of our decision [to grant a six-month extension] is that the UK will hold European elections next month,” Mr Tusk said.

“We should approach this seriously as UK members of the European Parliament will be there for several months - maybe longer.

“They will be full members of the Parliament with all the rights and obligations. I have strongly opposed the idea that during this further extension the UK should be treated as a second category member state. No, it cannot.”

He went on: “During the European Council [of April 10] one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers, and that we shouldn’t think that Brexit could be reversed. I would like to say: at this rather difficult moment in our history, we need dreamers and dreams.

“We cannot give in to fatalism. At least I will not stop dreaming about a better and united Europe.”

His remarks were seen as a dig at President Macron of France, who wanted reduced rights for UK MEPs, and the parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, who said he feared Brexit would “poison” the EU poll.

He said: “I fear that it [Brexit delay] will continue the uncertainty. I fear that it will prolong the indecision. And I fear most of all that it will import the Brexit mess into the European Union.

“And moreover, that it will poison the upcoming European election.”

The chances of Mrs May striking a deal with Labour to avoid the election diminished yesterday, as Jeremy Corbyn said the PM showed no sign of compromising on a customs union.

He said: “They’ve got a big pressure in the Tory party that actually wants to turn this country into a deregulated, low-tax society which will do a deal with Trump. I don’t want to do that.”

He said the UK had “lost a lot of time by the dithering of the government on bringing issues to parliament,” suggesting he wants a vote by MPs to determine any compromise.

He also attacked Nigel Farage, who last week launched his new Brexit Party.

He said: “Nigel Farage is not the answer to anyone’s problem. We have to have a relationship with Europe, in or out of the EU. All Farage is offering is some kind of never-never-land, saying we’ll walk away from everything.

“He should say that to those people who are really going to suffer as a result of this.”

In response, Mr Farage said his party would “sweep the board” on May 23, and said Mr Corbyn’s plan for a customs union would leave the UK unable to strike its own trade deals.

“How is Jeremy Corbyn serious about our relationship with the rest of the world when he wants us to be in a customs union, and unable to do deals. Does he even understand this?”

He also claimed that if Mrs May and Mr Corbyn did agree a customs union, his party would win the next general election “because the betrayal will be so complete and utter”.

The anti-Brexit group set up by former Labour and Tory MPs was formally recognised as a political party, allowing it to contest the European elections.

The Independent Group will now appear on ballot papers as Change UK with a policy to hold a People’s Vote.

However the Electoral Commission rejected its logo as “likely to mislead voters” because it contained a hashtag.

It has said it will stand candidates in Scotland, where they will be competing with the SNP, Greens and LibDems for pro-EU votes.

Two Tory MEPs, Julie Girling and Richard Ashworth, confirmed they had joined Change UK in the hope of standing for re-election.

Nicola Sturgeon will today argue for a People’s Vote at the STUC congress in Dundee.

Expressing her hope for a Remain result, she will say: “A second referendum is now the best way of resolving Brexit.”

The First Minister will also warn that workers’ rights cannot be guaranteed after Brexit, despite assurances.

She will say: “The UK Government has said that it won’t use Brexit to reduce workers’ rights - but when it comes to workers’ rights, I wouldn’t trust the Tories as far as I could throw them.

“Some MPs have been open about wanting to slash regulation. The Tory approach would be disastrous. It would damage the health, welfare and security of workers - and it would harm the productivity of the economy as a whole.

“It would also be anathema to the vision for Scotland which all of us share.”