Tories have ‘absolutely destroyed’ UK’s relationship with EU – Scottish Lib Dems

The Tories have “absolutely destroyed” Britain’s relationship with the EU, according to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton told BBC One Scotland’s The Sunday Show of the Lib Dems’ hopes of getting Britain “back into the heart” of Europe.

Speaking with host Martin Geissler, he said the Liberal Democrats are “proud Europeans” and that his party would attempt to rebuild the country’s relationship with the EU and encourage free movement.

“The Conservatives have absolutely destroyed our relationship with Europe, there is no trust there right now at all.

“We had one of the hardest possible Brexits and we’re still paying the price for that in terms of the goods that we buy in our supermarkets, but also the absence of the skilled workforce that we used to enjoy.”

He added: “Lib Dems care passionately about removing the friction, rebuilding bridges, getting back into things like Interpol, moving forward to the free movement of people, reducing those pressures and the frictions that exist and getting us back into the heart of Europe – Lib Dems are passionate Europeans, always will be”.

Mr Geissler poised to the party leader that what the Lib Dems really want is to “win over” voters in pro-EU cities in the south of England, using the idea of rejoining the EU as political leverage.

Mr Cole-Hamilton refuted his claim, stating EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen shares his values.

He said he cares “passionately about getting Britain back into the heart of Europe”, stating it is necessary for Britain because “we live in a scary world”.

He added that Britain is “living in the days of a new cold war”.

He continued: “When that happens, isolationism won’t cut it. You need to build bridges with your nearest partners and Liberal Democrats, my goodness, above all parties care passionately about that and you’ll be seeing more about this from us”.

Scottish Conservative candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Andrew Bowie said: “Alex Cole-Hamilton unapologetically doubled down on the Liberal Democrats’ reckless anti-oil and gas stance.

“Like the SNP, Labour and the Greens, the Lib Dems want to turn the taps off in the North Sea, costing tens of thousands of skilled jobs and devastating the North East economy.

“The Scottish Conservatives are the only party standing up for oil and gas workers and communities across the North East, because we recognise the crucial role the sector will play in our energy mix for decades to come”.