LABOUR will unite with its socialist colleagues in Europe to “end the right wing agenda of fear and austerity”, according the party’s leading MEP in Scotland.
Labour has the chance to double its representation at the forthcoming European Parliament elections in May, David Martin told the Scottish Labour Party conference in Perth.
Opinion polls indicate that European socialists are expected to become the largest group in Europe offering Labour the chance to be part of a parliament that “progresses, protects and reforms”, he said.
On a domestic front, the election is the last chance “to expose the assumptions, assertions and arrogance” of the SNP at the ballot box ahead of the independence referendum, he added.
“These are elections that we should be excited about because they should be different from previous European elections,” he said.
“They’re the last nationwide elections before the independence referendum, and indeed the next British general election.
“It’s going to be an opportunity for us to expose the assumptions, the assertions and the arrogance of the SNP in relation to Europe.”
He added: “The opinion polls across Europe say that the socialist group is going to be the biggest group in the European Parliament for the first time since 1999.
“We are fighting these elections on a common manifesto with 32 other socialist parties across the EU.
“It means we as a socialist group can deliver, and we are the only Scottish party that can deliver in the European Parliament.
“And we have made it clear in our manifesto that we will use any majority we get in the European Parliament to end the right wing agenda of fear and austerity, and replace it with a Europe that progresses, protects and reforms for European people.”
Labour’s MEP candidates outlined a series of “progressive” European policies which they said the SNP had either rejected or failed to support, including a Europe-wide extension of paid maternity leave and a cap on bankers’ bonuses.