‘Do you really believe EU would have you?’ Sturgeon in German TV grilling over Berlin trip

NICOLA STURGEON was given a TV grilling over her “surprising” trip to Germany as she bids to keep Scotland in the EU.

The Scottish First Minister was yesterday hailed as a “dedicated pro-European” by Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth after the pair held talks in Berlin.But, before the meeting, Ms Sturgeon faced questions from a bemused host of popular current affairs programme Tagesthemen.

In an interview on her arrival in the German capital, presenter Pinar Atalay told the SNP leader her visit was “kind of surprising”.

She noted how Ms Sturgeon was only meeting a junior member of the country’s government and not Chancellor Angela Merkel, vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel or foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Asked whether she felt “welcome” in Germany, Ms Sturgeon replied: “Absolutely, I’ve just arrived and so far I feel very welcome. I have a meeting this afternoon with Minister Roth.

“It’s a meeting to discuss my views on the recent referendum in the UK, my determination to protect the interests of Scotland as far as I possibly can and, of course, to hear the views of Germany.”

Just days after the Brexit vote on June 23, Ms Sturgeon staged a high-profile visit to an EU summit in the hope of holding talks with Brussels chiefs over retaining Scotland’s EU membership, in defiance of the UK referendum result.But her visit ended in humiliation after she was pointedly snubbed by European Council president Donald Tusk and both France and Spain shot down her plans to directly negotiate a way for Scotland to remain part of the bloc.

At the time, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy insisted his country was “extremely against” anyone other than the UK Government negotiating Brexit.

He added: “If the UK leaves… Scotland leaves.”

The Foreign Office recently confirmed the “legal and constitutional responsibility for the UK’s relationship with the EU lies at Westminster” in a blow to Ms Sturgeon’s hopes of holding her own direct talks with the EU.

Nicola SturgeonTAGESTHEMEN

Nicola Sturgeon was grilled over her ‘surprising’ trip on German TV

Do you really believe that the EU would like to have you?

German TV host Pinar Atalay

Ms Atalay interrogated Ms Sturgeon over her belief Scotland could remain part of the EU, either as part of the UK or as an independent nation, in the face of Spanish objections.She asked: “Do you really believe that the EU would like to have you?

“The Spanish already say that they’re against it because they’re afraid that the Catalans in their own country would do the same as you, follow suit and separate from Spain.”

But Ms Sturgeon defiantly insisted Scotland was in a “unique position” and that EU member states would welcome her country’s continuing membership of the bloc.

She replied: “The situation that Scotland finds itself in is not going to be replicated elsewhere, unless Spain suddenly decides it wants to leave the EU and I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.

“So Scotland is in a unique position, the UK of course is in a unique position right now and I think in these circumstances it’s important to keep an open mind to possible solutions that might be possible.”

The First Minister admitted her plans to keep Scotland in the EU, or set up a relationship with Brussels for her country unique to the rest of the UK, were not going to be “easy” or “obvious”.

But she added: “In terms of the wider EU, I would have thought – and certainly this is the view that I felt when I was in Brussels – I thought it would have been very positive for the wider EU for a part of the UK, if not the whole of the UK, to want to stay and continue to be part of the European family of nations.”Ms Sturgeon said it is her “duty” to fight to keep Scotland’s EU membership after more than 60 per cent of the country voted to Remain.

Speaking after her talks with Mr Roth yesterday, Ms Sturgeon said: “Today’s discussion has been a welcome and constructive opportunity to strengthen our relations to discuss the way forward for the EU and how all voices can be heard in that process.

“Scotland chose to remain in the EU and the solidarity shown toward Scotland as an enthusiastic part of the EU – demonstrated once again in today’s talks here in Berlin – has been very welcome.”

Mr Roth said: “This has been a very pleasant and constructive conversation between two dedicated pro-Europeans and has demonstrated once again that a degree of Europe’s strength lies in its diversity.

“I hope that the UK finds a way forward that will benefit Europe as a whole in the end.”

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Krankie is becoming unstable and deranged. These people have nothing to do with nationalism, they are hard-core Marxists. She and her Marxist friends will destroy Scotland if they get their way.

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