EU Commission Reports Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘Scotland Hearts Europe’ Brexit Day Stunt to Police

Scotland's First Minister, and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, looks on during a speech on Scotland's European future after Brexit on February 10, 2020, in Brussels. - First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said end of January she was ready to step up the campaign for Scottish independence, …
JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

The European Commission has reported a Brexit day stunt promoted by the First Minister of Scotland to the police, as it was launched without seeking permission first.

On the day when the United Kingdom officially left the European Union, the Scottish National Party (SNP) paid for a light display reading “Scotland Hearts Europe” that was projected onto the Berlaymont building in Brussels, the home of the European Commission.

The display was promoted by the leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon, who wrote: “The EU Commission building in Brussels tonight (and if you look carefully you’ll see that they do appear to have left a light on for us!)”

Following the revelation that the Europhilic light show was paid for by the SNP, the Commission reported the incident to police in Belgium for investigation.

“It had nothing to do with us and it was simply a matter for the Belgian police,” said a spokesman per the Herald Scotland.

“We are not in the business of being requested or granting authorisation for people outside projecting messages on our building,” added the spokesman.

Ms Sturgeon, who visited Brussels to discuss the future relationship between Scotland and the EU on Monday, downplayed the incident.

“I have not met anybody here today who has been particularly upset or at all upset by it. It’s not there first time a message has been projected onto the Berlaymont and I’m sure it won’t be the last,” said Sturgeon according to the Daily Mail.

“Whether it is the commission building or House of Commons and Big Ben in London or the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, it is quite a common and well-tried way of sending a message and making a point. It was a very strong point of solitary from Scotland to the European Union,” she added.

The controversy has drawn the ire of other Scottish politicians, who describe Ms Sturgeon as having “lost the plot” by focussing on a referendum for Scottish independence instead of on the real issues facing the country.

“Instead of incurring the wrath of the European Commission and the local police, the First Minister should be focussing on getting the basics right back home,” said Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

“It’s no surprise Nicola Sturgeon’s pointless stunt has ended up on the desk of Belgian police,” said Scottish Conservative chief whip Maurice Golden.

“Quite why the SNP thought it would get away with this virtual graffiti is a mystery. Yet again, the nationalists are causing Scotland significant embarrassment at home and abroad,” he concluded.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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