ONE OF the groups campaign for Britain to leave the EU will be staging a free public event in Shetland the day after next month’s Holyrood elections.
Grassroots Out (GO) is embarking on a speaking tour of the Highlands and Islands featuring former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars and ex-Labour trade minister Nigel Griffiths.
The talk will take place at Islesburgh Community Centre from 7.15pm on Friday 6 May.
It follows a bigger GO cross-party rally at the University of Glasgow where the bill also features the likes of UKIP leader Nigel Farage and prominent Tory campaigners Peter Bone and Dr Liam Fox.
While the SNP is campaigning for the UK to remain part of Europe, Sillars says breaking away from Brussels would deliver “real independence on key policies controlled only by ourselves, over home affairs, justice, agriculture, fisheries… It’s called sovereignty, nationalists used to support it.”
For his part, Griffiths said the EU was “failing to reconnect with millions of voters who want to keep the £19bn we give the EU every year and spend it ere on our priorities, like Scottish steel, fishing and manufacturing”.
Its literature claims that 65 per cent of Britain’s laws are influenced by the EU, while the UK contributes over £5 billion to the common agricultural policy (CAP) and gets £2.9 billion back which is “not fair on our taxpayers or our farmers”.
Speaking on a visit to Shetland earlier this week, SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she understood people’s frustration with aspects of the Brussels project, but wants the UK to remain within the EU.
“We’re not for a second saying that Europe should stay as it is in every respect,” she said. “I think particularly when it comes to fishing there are big arguments for change, but I still think that overall, the economic, the social, the cultural arguments, we’re better off on balance being in rather than out of Europe.”