Speaking after David Cameron’s statement of intent on Europe today, SNP MEP Alyn Smith said: “This wasn’t a speech made to defend Scotland’s or the UK’s position in Europe. It was aimed purely at appeasing the fantasyland Europhobes who now make up a depressingly large and growing part of the Conservative Party.
“Of course the EU needs reform - I would be the first to admit that. But by making these shrill, unconvincing and utterly vacuous threats, the Prime Minister is seeking to throw the baby out with the bathwater and will create years of uncertainty as a result.
“The critical thing here is that David Cameron and the Tories cannot and do not speak for Scotland or for Scotland’s interests. As part of the UK, we don’t do as well as we should in Europe and we are incapable of making a full contribution.
“Never has it been clearer that Scotland needs independence. Our interests lie firmly at the heart of Europe, and it becoming more obvious by the day that it is the Tories who are the true separatists.
"There is now only one way for Scotland to guarantee its future as a valued member of the European Union - by voting yes in next year’s referendum on independence.
“Later this week, our Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will deliver a speech in Dublin - the capital of a small country and a Celtic neighbour which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the EU.
“I have no doubt that it will offer an open, tolerant and imaginative vision of a future Europe which will be far at odds with the dangerous, negative and self-serving diatribe we heard from David Cameron today.
"Sad though I am to say it to our English neighbours, the core message they should take on board is: Be Very Afraid.”