Nicola Sturgeon told EU delegates that Scotland "is and always has been" a European nation following a successful meeting with Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker.

The First Minister held talks for 45 minutes with the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator as part of a whirlwind 24 hours for the SNP leader. 

Michel Barnier and Nicola Sturgeon met in Barnier's office in the Berlaymont building in Brussels a day after Sturgeon described the Conservative contest to succeed Theresa May as a “horror show”.

During talks, Barnier reiterated his, and the EU's commitment, to the current Brexit deal stating that the Brexit deal and backstop will not be altered regardless of the final deal with the UK. 

HeraldScotland:

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As part of the meeting with the First Minister, Barnier was accompanied by his senior officials Christian Krappitz, Tristan Aureau and Nina Obermaier – who is a special adviser on Northern Ireland and who helped draw up the backstop. 

One EU insider was asked if Barnier was aware of the pro-EU stance among people in Scotland told The National: “Yes. He follows these things very carefully. He is quite often with Scottish MEPs and he has met Nicola Sturgeon a number of times. I think it is the third time they have met.”

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Asked if the meeting was friendly, the source said: “Yes of course.”

Following a speech to the European Policy Centre think tank and a meeting with the three SNP MEPs Alyn Smith, Christian Allard and Aileen MacLeod, the First Minister met around 6pm with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Addressing the European Policy Centre Nicola Sturgeon said: “We think the best option – for the UK, as well as for Scotland – would be to remain in the EU.

“The basic values of the EU are ones we identify with. We like the idea of independent nation states co-operating for the common good.”