Tuesday, October 19, 1999 Published at 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Euro-launch sparks 'charade' jibe
The poster was still wet from last-minute changes
First Minister Donald Dewar and Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond have shared a platform at the launch of a pro-Europe campaign - despite stark differences in their policies.
But the Conservatives attacked the parties' message, branding it a "charade" and a Tory MEP, James Provan failed to turn up for the launch.
Labour wanted the same Britain in Europe title, but the SNP insisted it should be changed to Scotland in Europe.
The late changes meant the mobile poster displaying the slogan was still wet when it arrived for the launch in Edinburgh.
"We are entitled to have different opinions and everybody in Scotland knows that the SNP stands for independence in Europe while Donald will settle for devolution."
Deputy First Minister and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace was also present. He said: The patriotic thing to do is to actually show that Scotland's destiny lies as part of a fully-fledged member of the UK in the European Union."
Former Scottish and Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, launched the Tories' "Save the Scottish Pound" campaign and sought to exploit the differences between Labour and the SNP's policies.
The accusation was flatly rejected by Mr Dewar, who retaliated: "We are making no pretence that we are one party.
"Alex Salmond and I and our parties have different aims and objectives in the long term.
Tory MEP Struan Stevenson said: "Quite clearly the European election results in this country in June have shown that the British people are intent on keeping the pound.
"Labour, however, has now joined forces with the SNP in portraying everybody who doubts the benefits of the single currency as wanting to pull out of Europe altogether.
"This strategy of deceit is designed to force the country into submission by deliberately confusing the facts."
But Mr Salmond has said already that he believes the new pro-Euro initiative will find more common ground in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.
The official Britain in Europe campaign was launched by the Prime Minister Tony Blair last week when he was joined by senior pro-European Conservatives Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clark.