NICOLA Sturgeon has said that the European Union is "not perfect" but insisted that Scotland can help reform it if Brexit fails to become a reality.

Launching her party's manifesto for the EU Parliament elections in Glasgow, the First Minister reiterated her call for a second referendum saying that any form of Brexit did not represent the wishes of the people of Scotland, who voted by a majority to remain. 

Writing in the document's foreword, she said that the EU had been at the centre of the continent's drive for peace and prosperity for decades, but added: "It is not perfect, but Scotland can play its part in making it better."

Ms Sturgeon said that a vote for the her party was a vote to stop Brexit, describing the situation in Westminster as "chaos". She insisted that there "real chance"Scotland could stay part of the European Union. 


The SNP's six candidates

The First Minister said: "There were clear majorities for remain in every single city in Scotland and in every single council area in Scotland. 

"The result really could not have been clearer. The overwhelming majority of people across out country did not and do not want to leave the EU."

She added: "But just as the result in Scotland could not have been clearer, the reaction of Theresa May and the Tories could not have been more predictable. 

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"Instead of listening to people across Scotland, they chose to ignore Scotland. Instead of looking for compromise they decided not just to drag Scotland out of the EU, but to pursue a hard Brexit and all to appease the right wing of the Conservative party.

"Make no mistake, that is still the intention and still their policy today." 

Ms Sturgeon said that party's manifesto sets out "a positive, progressive, European future for Scotland," adding: "It makes clear our determination to stay in the EU. There is now a real chance to keep Scotland in the European Union."

She continued: "Any Brexit deal agreed by Westminster must be put to the people with remain on the ballot paper. If no deal is the only alternative, Article 50 must be revoked.

"And Scotland must have the choice of becoming an independent, European nation."

Ms Sturgeon said that both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Prime Minister Theresa May intended to take Scotland out of the EU against the wishes of its people.


The First Minister meets with activists during the launch

She stated: "Jeremy Corbyn has made it abundantly clear that his preference is to take the Uk and Scotland out of the European Union. That outcome, will, according to him, deliver on the result of the referendum.

"No it will not. Taking Scotland out of the EU against our will does not deliver on the referendum. It overturns the result of the referendum."  

"And Brexit does something else: it gives the lie to the notion that Labour and the Tories see the United Kingdom as a partnership of equal nations."

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With Theresa May having outlined plans to leave Downing Street, Ms Sturgeon said the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming the next prime minister was now "a deadly serious possibility and for Scotland it would be a nightmare".

The First Minister told the gathered media: "Faced with Brexit - and very possibly an extreme Farage-Johnson style Brexit - people in Scotland deserve the right to decide whether Scotland should become an independent member of the EU instead."

Ms Sturgeon said Scots would be "horrified" if Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab or any other leading Brexiteer became Prime Minister. 


The Brexit debate has raged on, and on.

Addressing the possibility of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party winning a seat in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon joked that wasn't thinking about him as she preferred "to have nice thoughts".

She said: "I watched footage of Nigel Farage dodging questions on who who funds them, who has been funding them. But I'm not going to waste the time I've got to put forward a positive proposition talking about Nigel Farage [instead]."

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Six candidates have been selected by the SNP to vie for Scotland's seats in the EU parliament, including current member Alyn Smith, former MSPs Christian Allard and Aileen Mcleod, former MP Margaret Ferrier, councillor Heather Anderson and SNP activist Alex Kerr. 
Scotland is currently represented by two SNP MEPs, two from Labour, and one from UKIP and the Conservatives respectively. The vote takes place on May 23rd.