Sturgeon warns UK could be heading for EU exit door

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NICOLA Sturgeon will today attack the Coalition government’s relations with Europe, with a stark warning that the UK could be heading out of the EU exit door.

This is against “public opinion and the public interest” in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon will say in a speech in Brussels.

David Cameron has said he is ready to hold an in-out referendum on UK membership of Europe and the Prime Minister was instrumental in securing a historic cut in the EU’s budget earlier this month.

Ms Sturgeon will say that the SNP backs reform of the EU in areas like the Common Fisheries Policy and carbon emissions.

But she will add: “We believe these reforms are best achieved from within the EU through constructive dialogues with member states.

“This does not seem to be the road that the Prime Minister is set upon. I have deep concerns about the direction of UK government policy towards Europe. Instead of leading the EU, the UK is in danger of sleepwalking towards the exit. Such an outcome, for Scotland, would be contrary to public opinion and against the public interest.”

Ms Sturgeon will also ask Scottish MEPs to back calls for Scotland to get a fair share of EU funding. It comes after fears emerged last week that the EU budget reduction could see Scotland lose out to the tune of £261 million between 2014-20.