Voters will head to the polls for the EU elections on 23 May after Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington confirmed talks between ministers and Labour would not reach agreement in time to prevent it.
Downing Street said the talks had been “constructive and detailed” but Labour have told reporters that Theresa May remains wedded to her deal which has been repeatedly rejected by MPs.
Lidington said: “We very much hoped that we would be able to get our exit sorted… so that those elections did not have to take place, but legally they do have to take place unless our withdrawal has been given legal effect.”
As a result, Scotland will elect its six MEPs this month, although it is unclear how long they will sit in the European Parliament. As things stand the UK expects to leave the EU by 31 October.
Incumbent MEPs Labour’s David Martin, the SNP’s Alyn Smith and Conservative Nosheena Mobarik are up for re-election as they top their respective party lists.
The SNP, the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said the vote represents a chance to stop Brexit, by endorsing a second referendum or revoking Article 50.
The Brexit Party and UKIP are also standing in Scotland on a platform of delivering Brexit.
Stephen Gethins MP, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson, said: “Only a vote for the SNP at the European elections will reinforce the message that Scotland strongly opposes Brexit.
“The Tories and Labour are engaged in a tawdry stitch-up aimed at delivering Theresa May’s rotten deal, but this vote now gives the people of Scotland a chance to make clear they will not stand for Brexit.”
The Scottish Greens launched their EU manifesto yesterday urging voters to choose “hope over hate”.
The party pledged to work with other Green parties across Europe to tackle the climate emergency.
Lead candidate Maggie Chapman told the BBC: “We are pro-European, we are pro EU, we are pro-independence. We are the only party that takes the climate emergency seriously and has a plan to sort it out.
“So, if people want a strong voice for Scotland in the European Parliament then voting Green is actually the only way to deliver that.”
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