First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday told voters that the only way to definitively reject Brexit was by voting SNP at the upcoming European Parliament elections.

Sturgeon, who was in Glasgow to launch the SNP’s European Parliament election manifesto at the Barras Art and Design Centre, called the votes “a real chance to keep Scotland in the European Union,” and “at the heart of Europe.”

The event was opened by a speech from Depute Leader Keith Brown, who joked that the it had been advertised at the correct address and the manifesto published in the correct language.

Brown went on to pay tribute to each SNP EU candidate individually, before introducing MEP Alyn Smith, who said that the party had been receiving a “great response” during campaigning and that the SNP “had the ball at our feet” in the election.

Smith was followed by the First Minister, who herself paid tribute to the work done so far in Brussels by Smith and party colleague Ian Hudghton.

“The result of the EU referendum couldn’t have been clearer,” she said, referring to the “overwhelming majority of people who did not and do not want to leave the EU”.

Sturgeon went on to label Prime Minister Theresa May’s reaction to Scotland’s emphatic remain vote as “predictable”.

“There have been no compromises. The Tories want to drag Scotland out of the EU and into a hard Brexit. Make no mistake, this is still their intention and policy today,” she said.

“We now have a chance to keep Scotland in the EU. On May 23, people can send Theresa May - or whoever comes after her - a clear message. Scotland does not want Brexit.

“The best way to send that message is to vote SNP.”

The manifesto, which currently is the only publication released by any party ahead of the Euro polls, sets out the SNP’s four political priorities: to keep working with other parties across the UK to stop Brexit, to back a people’s vote, to offer the choice for Scotland to be an independent European nation and to support action to revoke Article 50 in face of a no-deal Brexit.

The SNP’s strategy also includes a list of policy pledges to be carried into Brussels.

Climate change is an immediate area of focus for Scotland’s SNP MEPs and elected members will support the EU-wide Green New Deal which recognises the immediate need to address the climate emergency and puts pressure on EU states to tackle the issue.

Defending the rights of EU citizens and the preservation of the Scottish Government’s migration, as well as standing up for freedom of movement and protecting Scotland’s place in the single market regardless of the outcome of Brexit are also key objectives.

Maintaining Scotland’s ability to access EU funding and Scottish students’ ability to study in Europe via Erasmus are also key areas of focus.

Finally, the party have insisted that they are determined to see the farming and fishing industries flourish for the future.

“This is an election that the Tories never wanted. They are pretending it is not happening,” the First Minister went on.

“And let’s be clear, it’s not just the Tories. Jeremy Corbyn has indulged in pointless talks which he has just announced he is pulling out of. Message to Corbyn - taking Scotland out of the EU does not deliver on the result on the referendum, it overturns it.

“Brexit has given lie to the notion that Labour and the Tories see the UK as partnership of equal nations. The sovereignty of Westminster must always trump sovereignty of Scotland. We believe it is sovereign right of Scottish people to decide what type of government they want,” she said.

The FM used part of her speech to champion the international identity and multi-culturalism of Scotland’s communities, something that she said “was a source of great strength.”

“We do not decry it, we celebrate it,” she said.

“Demonstrating our commitment to being a welcoming nation is a core part of the SNP’s values – we champion internationalism. We believe in co-operation, respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.

“Those are the core values of the EU. I believe that it is right that Scotland should play our full part in promoting those values for the common good.”

Sturgeon’s speech then turned to the SNP’s dedication to a better future as part of the European project.

“We have senior Tories already calling for an electoral pact with Nigel Farage at the next elections. For Scotland, this would be a nightmare. We must have all our options open to us at this critical time.

“Whatever your views are on independence, one thing is clear and beyond doubt. Westminster is in a dark place it is our obligation to provide a beacon of hope. This manifesto puts forward a progressive, positive and European future.”