Tue, 9 May 2023 at 12:01 am BST
The SNP would “undo Brexit as far as possible” if the next general election results in a hung Parliament, the party has said.
Results from last week’s local elections in England suggested that if the same voting pattern was followed at a general election, no party would have an overall majority.
Labour – who lead the Tories by more than 20 points in some opinion polls – could fall short of a majority and seek to form a coalition government.
On Tuesday, the SNP’s EU Accession spokesperson, Alyn Smyth, said his party would demand the UK has a close relationship with Brussels in any negotiations with a minority Labour government.
Mr Smyth said ahead of seeking to row back on Brexit, the SNP’s key demands for the relationship between the UK and the EU would be to secure single market membership and restore free movement.
The SNP is one of the only major parties to support rejoining the EU, as Labour has ruled out any Brexit reversal. The Liberal Democrats have officially dropped calls for a rerun of the EU referendum, though The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Ed Davey’s party may demand a second vote as the price of joining a coalition.
Mr Smith said: “Brexit has been a disaster for Scotland and the UK – costing our economy billions, damaging the NHS, and contributing to the cost of living crisis – and there’s been a conspiracy of silence on it from Labour and the Tories.
“While independence is the only way for Scotland to regain our EU membership, the SNP could hold the balance of power at the next election and we would use our influence to undo Brexit as far as possible and demand the UK has a close relationship with the EU.
“With all the signs pointing to a hung parliament, the SNP could force a minority Labour government to rejoin the EU single market, reintroduce free movement and transfer power for an independence referendum to Edinburgh, so Scotland can regain our place in Europe.”
He added: “The SNP would also push for the UK to rejoin Erasmus and Horizon Europe, and defend the European Court of Justice, while ensuring Scotland has the power to escape Brexit entirely with independence.
“At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to beat the Tories in Scotland – and a strong team of SNP MPs can get the best deal for Scotland, including powers over an independence referendum, a close relationship with Europe and making the cost of living crisis a key priority.”
The vast majority of Scots believe the Tory Government is handling Brexit badly, according the latest YouGov poll on May 1 – 84 per cent of Scots and 67 per cent of people across the UK think this.
Only 9 per cent of Scots and 22 per cent of people across the UK told pollsters they believe the Government is handling Brexit well.