We want to stay! Nicola Sturgeon arrives in Brussels to plead with EU officials to find a way for Scotland to stay in after Brexit – but she WON’T see Council President Donald Tusk after he refuses to schedule talks

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon is meeting Jean Claude Juncker and other EU officials today – but has been snubbed by European Council President Donald Tusk.
The First Minster has vowed to protect Scotland’s place in the EU after the referendum after no part of the country backed Leave.
The SNP leader was greeted by Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, as she arrived today.
Ms Sturgeon plans a charm offensive in her meetings today to make the case that Scotland should remain in the bloc after 62 per cent of Scots voted to stay.
But she suffered a blow when Mr Tusk’s officials made it plain that he had no time to meet her. A source close to Mr Tusk said: ‘This is not the right, appropriate moment to meet.’

His snub come as a setback for Ms Sturgeon because the European Council is made up of all the heads of member states who will have to unanimously agree any deal for Scotland.
Several member states, notably Spain, would oppose Scotland joining the EU for fear that it would stoke up separatism.
Commission president Mr Juncker will meet with Ms Sturgeon at 4pm after earlier also turning her down.
Before the visit, Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament today that Scotland’s voice ‘will be heard’ after the UK voted for Brexit.

She secured cross-party backing from MSPs to pursue talks aimed at protecting Scotland’s place in the EU.
During an emergency debate at Holyrood, she said: ‘Scotland spoke clearly for Remain and I am determined that Scotland’s voice will be heard.’
Ms Sturgeon, seen during yesterday’s statement on Brexit in the Scottish Parliament, has been snubbed by Donald Tusk today
Ms Sturgeon, seen during yesterday’s statement on Brexit in the Scottish Parliament, has been snubbed by Donald Tusk today
Removing Scotland from the EU against the will of its citizens would be ‘democratically unacceptable’, she said.
She insisted there cannot be ‘three months of drift’ while both the Tories and Labour hold leadership contests at Westminster.
She will ask the parliament to rubber stamp a second independence referendum if she walks away from Brussels with no support for staying in the EU.
This would happen if a second referendum is ‘the best or only way to protect Scotland’s place in the EU,’ she said.
She also received a boost from Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian Prime Minister who leads the liberal group in the European Parliament.
Asked if an independent Scotland could join the European Union before the United Kingdom formally leaves the organisation, he told the Scottish TV channel, STV: ‘I think this possibility has to exist, yeah.
Because if Scotland decides to leave the UK, to be an independent state, and they decide to be part of the European Union I think there is no big obstacle to do that.’
The leading EU politician said it would be ‘suicide’ for the organisation to not be ‘sympathetic’ to countries that wanted to join the European Union.
He said: ‘The European Union is so big, such a good and fantastic project that is suicide not to be sympathetic to those who want to join the European Union.’

We’ll miss EU, Dave! Cameron shares a laugh with his Brussels pals as he says farewell to fellow European leaders at his final summit following humiliating Brexit defeat
David Cameron laughed and joked with Angela Merkel and other European leaders in Brussels today as he attended what is likely to be his last EU summit before handing over to his successor in September.
The Prime Minister urged whoever takes over in Downing Street should forge the ‘closest possible relationship’ with the EU and urged his European counterparts today to pursue a ‘constructive’ approach to negotiations.
At a dinner with the heads of states tonight he faces the awkward task of explaining how he oversaw Britain’s shock decision to leave the EU last week but he signalled his conciliatory approach as he declared: ‘We mustn’t be turning our backs on Europe’.

Mr Cameron, who will only serve as Prime Minister until September 9 at the latest, said Britain and the EU had a mutual interest in agreeing the best possible deal on trade, cooperation and security.
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On arrival in the Belgium capital he met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, posing for pictures in front of the hastily erected Union and EU flags.
The Prime Minister held meetings with individual leaders before addressing them all at what promises to be an awkward and frosty dinner tonight to discuss last week’s dramatic Brexit vote.
But he has been frozen out of official meetings among EU leaders tomorrow, when they will start to discuss their approach of forging a new relationship with Britain outside the bloc.
The meeting of EU heads of state is a routine summit but European Council President Donald Tusk chose only to include Mr Cameron in official proceedings for today’s itinerary.
In a sign of the hard-line approach being taken by Brussels, Mr Juncker ordered Brussels chiefs not to enter into any ‘secret negotiations’ with the UK over the terms of Brexit.

He and other leaders today underlined their position that they will not start negotiatoins over a new relationship until the UK gives formal notifications of its intention to withdraw by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Speaking ahead of an afternoon of meetings, Mr Cameron told reporters: ‘I’ll be explaining that Britain will be leaving the European Union, but I want that process to be as constructive as possible and I hope the outcome will be as constructive as possible.
‘While we’re leaving the European Union we mustn’t be turning our backs on Europe.
‘These countries are our neighbours, our friends, our allies, our partners and I very much hope we’ll seek the closest possible relationship in terms of trade and cooperation and security because that is good for us and good for them and that’ the spirit in which the discussions will be held today.’
Mr Cameron will not be involved in the official negotiations over Britain’s future relationship with the EU after announcing his resignation minutes after he learned of his crushing defeat in last week’s referendum.
He reportedly asked his aides ‘why should I do the hard s***’ as he prepared his resignation speech and it will instead be the job of the next Prime Minister to oversee the negotiations with Brussels.
His successor is expected to be in place by September 2 at the latest, with Brexit champion Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May the current favourites to win the upcoming Conservative leadership contest.

He’s only got a few more weeks to serve as Prime Minister and as he patted down his stomach today it appears David Cameron is looking forward to shedding the pounds accumulated in office.
As he chatted with Angela Merkel at his last EU summit in Brussels today, the German Chancellor pointed to his midriff as if to give advice on what to do once he no longer has to attend endless gourmet dinners in Brussels.
Ms Merkel has experience herself having struck sausage sandwiches and biscuits off her daily snack menu two years ago as part of a strict new dieting scheme.
She replaced the snacks with sticks of raw carrot and red and green pepper and the results soon showed as her figure slimmed significantly.
The Prime Minister will enjoy what is likely to be his last dinner with EU leaders tonight after announcing he is resigning. He will only serve as Prime Minister until September 9 at the latest, when his successor will be named.

Nigel Farage was booed and heckled by EU lawmakers in Brussels this morning as he gloated about Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU last week.
The Ukip leader told fellow MEPs ‘you’re not laughing now’ and accused the EU of being ‘a political project in denial’.
As he stood up to speak to a hostile reception in the European Parliament building this morning, he joked: ‘Thank you for the warm welcome’ before telling them they were also ‘in denial’ about the euro crisis and immigration.
Earlier in the session he clashed with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who asked the Ukip leader: ‘Why are you here?’
But there was a moment of respite in the hostilities before the debate today when Mr Juncker embraced Mr Farge, but the Ukip leader looked uncomfortable as the European Commission president went in for a kiss.

As lawmakers applauded the EU chief as they met for crisis talks about the future of the EU following Britain’s decision to exit last week, the animated European Commission chief interrupted his address to hit out at Mr Farage.
Breaking off from his speech – delivered in French – Mr Juncker switched to English as he told Mr Farage: ‘That’s the last time you are applauding here…and to some extent I’m really surprised you are here.
‘You are fighting for the exit. The British people voted in favour of the exit. Why are you here?’ he asked.
Mr Farage provoked jeers from opposing MEPs as he tore into them in his short but punchy speech.

He appealed for a ‘grownup and sensible attitude to how we negotiate a different relationship’ but added: ‘I know that virtually none of you have never done a proper job in your lives, or worked in business, or worked in trade, or indeed ever created a job. But listen, just listen.
As MEPs broke out in uproar, European president Martin Schulz was forced to step in to appeal for calm.
He condemned Mr Farage for antagonising his long-standing opponents but told the heckling MEP to stop ‘behaving like Ukip’.
The embattled Mr Juncker has been heavily criticised throughout Europe for his part in Britain’s decision to cut ties with Brussels but used his address to a special session of the European Parliament to fight back.
Hitting back at calls for him to resign, he told MEPs he was going nowhere and pledged to continue fighting towards his goal of a federal Europe.
In a rare personal note, the 61-year-old former Luxembourg prime minister struck out at critics, notably in the German press but also among east European governments, who have called on him to stand down following the Brexit vote.
‘I am neither tired or sick, as the German papers say,’ he said. ‘I will fight to my last breath for a united Europe.’
But he admitted the EU must accept the result of Britain’s referendum.
‘We must respect British democracy and the way it has expressed its view,’ Mr Juncker said, drawing applause from the Ukip MEPs present.
Mr Juncker spoke from a desk next to that of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who followed the largely French and German speech with headphones and with a British flag planted in front of him.
Before the session began, Mr Farage had gone over to speak to Juncker. Both men appeared relaxed and as Farage made to leave, Juncker pulled him close and gave him an air-kiss on the cheek.
Mr Juncker said he would make no apology for being ‘sad’ at the result of the British vote – ‘I am not a robot,’ he said, ‘I am not a grey bureaucrat.’
He urged Britain to explain quickly what it wanted from the EU in terms of a new relationship but insisted he had told his staff to engage in no preliminary talks with British officials until London engages the two-year mechanism for leaving the EU.
‘No notification, no negotiation,’ he said.
In an extraordinary day in the normally dull European Parliament, Mr Farage was also accused of using ‘Nazi propaganda’ to win the referendum – a reference to the controversial poster showing a line of Syrian refugees along the Slovenian border last October.
The pro-Brexit poster told voters the ‘EU has failed us all,’ adding below: ‘We must break free of the EU and take back control of our borders.’
It drew comparisons to an original poster shown in a BBC documentary showing refugees fleeing Nazi Germany with the words: ‘parasites undermining their host countries’.
Former Belgium prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, who now heads up the Liberals and Democrats for Europe group of MEPs in the Brussels Parliament, claimed the Brexit campaign had only succeeded because it was based on negativity and ‘lies’ on immigration.

In a bitter attack on Mr Farage today, he told him: ‘It’s my feeling that it’s not so much the choice they have made that is hard … what makes it so hard is the way it succeeded.
‘The absolutely negative campaign, the posters of Mr Farage showing refugees like in Nazi propaganda.
‘I was never told that it was possible that somebody in this house should do a thing like that.
‘The lies also on migration. The lies on ‘oh Turkey will join the union next week’. Or the lies on the £350m that should return immediately to the National Health Service. And now don’t go back to the National Health Service.
‘It’s that climate of fear that has been created, of negativism that has been created – that is the most shocking thing that has happened in Britain – not the choice of the people, because the choice of the people is democracy.’
Mr Verhofstadt also joked: ‘Finally we will be getting rid of the biggest waste in the EU budget – that we have paid for 17 years of your salary.’

Following Mr Juncker shortly afterwards, Mr Farage taunted MEPs by saying: ‘Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me – well I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?
‘The reason you’re so upset, you’re so angry, has been perfectly clear, from all the angry exchanges this morning.
‘You as a political project are in denial. You’re in denial that your currency is failing. Just look at the Mediterranean! As a policy to impose poverty on Greece and the Mediterranean you’ve done very well.’
He added: ‘You’re in denial over Mrs. Merkel’s call for as many people as possible to cross the Mediterranean – which has led to massive divisions between within countries and between countries.
‘The biggest problem you’ve got and the main reason the UK voted the way it did is because you have by stealth and deception, and without telling the truth to the rest of the peoples of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union.’