The Scottish Liberal Democrats are campaigning on a “fewer borders and boundaries” message to appeal to students in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
Candidate Fred Mackintosh, an Edinburgh councillor between 1999 and 2007, also insisted that “the Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only party campaigning to keep Scotland in the EU and the UK,” in an exclusive interview.
Mackintosh drew upon his experience of teaching at the University of Edinburgh with colleagues from the European Union, adding that he would champion “the rights of students and academics across the EU.”
He also said that a public vote between the deal that has been negotiated and remaining in the EU is “the best way” to protect the rights to study and work in the EU and that it is “democratic to give people a clear choice.”
Shelia Ritchie, who previously served on the European Economic and Social Committee, said that her party are “the best chance there is” for those who want to remain a member of the EU.
Ritchie also shared that other parties like Change UK were “just not getting traction” in Scotland so voting liberal democrat was an opportunity to send a “resounding remain message” to politicians.
Some have questioned the timing of another referendum being too soon after the original in 2016. Ritchie, however, described the current situation as “a mess” due to a lack of agreement by those who want to leave the EU and that “the only way to stop the mess is put it to the people.”
Both candidates do however believe that there is room for improvement with the current EU. Ritchie outlined that she would reform “the way the EU communicates with its citizens” and change the location of some meetings to “stop having meetings in Strazbourg”
Mackintosh said he would “give all EU citizens the right to vote in all elections in the UK” and aim to increase transparency by making the voting records of each EU member country available for people to view to “nail the Euromyths that helped fuel the Eurosceptics”
The European Parliament elections take place on 23rd May.