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Friday, May 28, 1999 Published at 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK

Scottish National Party

The Scottish National Party's chief aim is to achieve independence for Scotland, outside the UK. At the Scottish elections on 6 May, the SNP became the official opposition in the new devolved Parliament.

The Scottish National Party

Manifesto: "Enterprise, compassion, democracy."

"Scotland's party, the SNP, is part of the mainstream European social democratic tradition. We believe that an enterprising and dynamic economy goes hand in hand with high quality public services."

"The SNP knows it is possible to transform Scotland> We can reverse the trend of job losses, public service cuts and the privatisation of essential services. New Labour has let Scotland down by adopting old Tory policies and neglecting the pressing needs of our communities. But things don't have to be this way."

"The SNP has a positive vision of the future. Now that the Scottish Parliament is up and running, there is a greater need than ever to seize the opportunities opening up for Scotland in Europe. The SNP looks forward to the day when the people of Scotland will be ready to move forward to independence and full membership of the European Union."

"As an independent member state, Scotland would enjoy a new first-class status in Europe. We would have more influence, a stronger voice, an greater access to the benefits. Voting SNP moves Scotland another step closer to independence."

The SNP's core manifesto pledges are:

  • "Stand up for Scotland. The SNP will offer a powerful voice in Europe for Scotland's people and Scotland's industries.
  • Fight for European funding. The SNP will press for ongoing support to tackle our social and economic problems and assist hard-pressed industries like farming and fishing.
  • Pursue new transport links. The SNP will urge determined EU action to reduce air fares and explore for a European transport corridor through Scotland from Ireland.
  • Outline the practical benefits of joining the euro. The SNP will press the case for joining the single currency and encourage informed debate.
  • Help wipe out Euro-sleaze. The SNP proposes a tough new code of ethics for the European institutions and will support more open and democratic EU structures.
  • Defend consumer rights. The SNP will demand a moratorium on all food produced from genetically-modified sources or containing traces of growth hormones.
  • Promote environmental objectives. The SNP wants to see measures to protect the environment integrated into all relevant policy areas and will support research into the development of ecologically oriented technologies.
  • Support equal treatment in the workplace. The SNP will support better employment rights for men and women alike.
  • Protect and enhance human rights. The SNP will campaign for human rights and more open democracy in all member states and in other countries.
  • Promote a healthier lifestyle. The SNP will support the EU campaign to ban tobacco advertising and will back Europe-wide initiatives to combat drug trafficking.
  • Support educational exchanges. The SNP will encourage Scotland's students and teachers to take better advantage of the opportunities open to them in Europe.
  • Campaign for the cancellation of 'third world' debt. The SNP will back moves to end the cycle of poverty in the worlds' poorest countries."

    'Moving Scotland forward'

    "The SNP wants the Scottish Parliament to seize the initiative in establishing better co-ordination and co-operation between different levels of government. Until now too little attention has been paid to boosting Scotland's profile in Europe, and there has been no original thinking about how to ensure that Scotland's elected representatives - at local, national and European levels - work together to deliver the best for the people."

    "We have proposed the creation of a Scottish-European Joint Assembly composed of equal numbers of Members of the Scottish Parliament and Euro-representatives (namely Scottish Euro-MPs, members of the Committee of Regions, and delegates to the Economic and Social Committee of the Council of Europe) to co-ordinate Scotland's voice on issues of vital national importance.

    "We have also outlined a plan to enhance the role and experience of the Scottish Executive's European Affairs Division in an effort to pave the way towards gaining direct representation for Scotland in the EU."

    'A role at the heart of Europe'

    "The SNP recognises that small states are equal members of the EU and are effective in the role as President of the Council of Ministers and the European Council."

    "The SNP wants to play its part in building European institutions which are accountable and responsive, but we will resist any tendency towards conformity and cultural assimilation within the EU.

    "Europe's vast cultural diversity is a source of richness and strength; the process of integration and harmonisation must not dilute Europe's distinctive cultures but should instead seek to establish a stable and prosperous Europe where those diverse cultures can find expression.

    "Europe must become more responsive to the demands of its citizens and be flexible enough to take account of particular circumstances."

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