FIRST Minister Alex Salmond will accuse Westminster of letting Scotland down “time and time again” as a result of its “obsessive” anti-European agenda.
The SNP leader will hit out as he launches his party’s campaign for next month’s European elections.
The European Parliament ballot is the last election before this September’s independence referendum.
As he launches the SNP’s bid to increase its number of MEPs, Mr Salmond will say that Scotland needs to have its “own voice in Europe”.
He will stress the contribution Scotland makes to the European Union (EU) but will also argue a “strong team of SNP MEPs” is needed to help advance Scottish interests.
The First Minister will say: “Scotland and the EU have worked as partners for more than 40 years in research and in renewable resources, in fishing and in oil and gas, Scotland brings as much to the EU as the EU contributes to Scotland.
“Being an active part of the EU has helped to create thousands of jobs in Scotland - jobs which are threatened by Westminster’s obsessive anti-EU agenda.
“Westminster’s short-sighted priorities have let Scotland down time and time again.
“We need the opportunity to speak with our own voice in Europe to build on the positive relationships with our neighbours Scotland has already established.
“A vote for a strong team of SNP MEPs on May 22 and a Yes vote in September will let Scotland make our mark in Europe and ensure that Scotland’s interests are always defended.”
The SNP currently has two of Scotland’s six MEPs, with Labour also having two Scottish representatives in the European Parliament, while the Tories and Liberal Democrats both have one Scottish MEP.