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Sturgeon: why we must remain in the EU

First Minister Surgeon in parlFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon will today deliver her message for Britain staying in Europe to a London audience in a clear statement of intent to be a part of the UK-wide debate.

She will argue that the EU is about more than an economic union and is a force for “social protection”.

Speaking to about 700 people at St John’s Smith Square, the First Minister will argue that Scotland and the UK should seek to reform the European Union from the inside rather than be a voice outwith.

She is expected to say: “The Scottish Government believes that EU membership is in the best interests of Scotland. As such the Scottish Government will make a positive, constructive case for remaining in the EU. I believe that we benefit from being part of the EU, and the EU benefits from having us a part of it.

“For more than 40 years, membership of the European Union has been good for the prosperity and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities across the country.

“I want the vote on 23 June to result in an overwhelming victory, across all parts of the UK, for remaining in the European Union. I will campaign wholeheartedly to achieve that result. And although my main role will obviously be to campaign in Scotland, many of the points I’ll be making are of course also relevant to the debate across the UK.”

The First Minister is expected to add: “Having access to the European Single Market has removed barriers to trade and gives freedom to move capital, people, good and services – but the EU is not simply an economic union, it is so much more than that.

“Being part of the EU is also about solidarity, social protection and mutual support. This has become even more evident in the recent months, with independent members of the EU working collectively on pressing global challenges such as the movement of refugees and migrants, energy security and climate change. By working together within the EU, we can achieve far more and make a real difference to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“It’s clear that being a member of the EU has its benefits, but with any institution improvements can be made.

“If we are to influence positive change in Europe, we must remain within the EU – only that guarantees a role in the EU decision-making processes on issues that affect our everyday lives.”

> Comment: why the EU referendum is more important the Holyrood elections

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