DOZENS of current and prospective MEPs have declared their support for Scotland rejoining the EU ahead of the first European election since the UK left the bloc.

Europe for Scotland (EfS), a grassroots initiative that works to support Scotland post-Brexit, launched a campaign on Europe Day called Speak Up For Scotland which asked those seeking election to pledge that they will work to ensure any EU application from an independent Scotland is welcomed.

Almost 30 MEP candidates from across nine countries have now put their name to that pledge saying they “support Scotland’s democratic will to be part of the EU and believe they can help us build a better Europe”.

The European election – taking place between June 6 and 9 – will be the first in which Scots will not be able to vote despite the vast majority of the nation opting to Remain in the EU referendum of 2016.

Current MEPs who have signed the pledge include Irish MEP Clare Daly, French MEPs Marie Toussaint and David Cormand, and Belgian MEP Saskia Bricmont.

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Daly (below) said although it would be a matter for Scots to choose whether they wanted to join the EU as an independent country, she was happy to sign the pledge and call for another referendum on Scottish independence.

"My attitude to European Union membership is entirely a matter for the people in that jurisdiction, whether they want to join the European Union or not,” she said.

“However, there are obviously legal complexities in terms of the United Kingdom, as it's called, so the requirement for an independence decision would be necessary, as too many other issues would be raised for the European Union, but I'm happy to sign the pledge and support the call for another referendum."

The National:

Silvia Panini, running for Volt Europa in Italy, said she signed the pledge as she believes its important that Scots are encouraged to re-establish a connection with Europe.

She said: “The people of Scotland have made it clear that they want to rejoin the EU, a Union they did not choose to leave.

“We must encourage their desire to re-establish a connection with Europe and its values. Let's stand behind these principles and Scotland in its journey back to the EU, making sure that everyone's opinion is valued and heard as we shape our shared future.

“Let's work together to create a Europe that values cooperation and respect between all its citizens and local identities."

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Sven Franck, who is running for Volt Europa in France, said as a German living in France he understands the pain some Scots will feel in not being able to participate in the election.

He said: “I wish to express my solidarity with all Scottish citizens deprived of participating in these European elections and also in the European project.

“Europe is not perfect – as a German living in France I'm also excluded from most elections and one of my personal objectives, if elected into the next European Parliament, is to work towards voting rights based on continuous residency across Europe.

“Whether through this way or an application to rejoin the EU, I'd be very happy to support welcoming Scotland back into the European family and look forward to the day we can all contribute to advancing the European project together again." 

Sarah De Sanctis, an activist for EfS, has been working on the continent to rally a network of campaigners across 15 countries who will reach out to candidates and attend political events to find out where they stand on Scotland.

She said: “Over the last two weeks our team of activists have been approaching candidates all over Europe asking to sign our pledge and I have to say I'm really pleased with the response we are getting.

“At a time of busy campaigning over many domestic and international issues, even though Brexit and the UK elections are virtually absent from discussions in Europe, we are still getting sympathy and spontaneous expression of support and solidarity for the Scottish people from candidates across the EU.

“Some MEP candidates even found the time to get back to us with their own encouraging words for Scotland.”

To keep up with who is signing the pledge, click here.