“Why are we having a referendum about remaining as a member of the European Union? Because of internal strife in the Tory Party and the Prime Minister trying to be too clever by half in trying to appease his critics. That’s why.
“Let’s not pretend it’s about ‘democracy’ – only around 15% of UK laws are agreed in the European Union or have an EU influence. The European Commission is directly appointed by national governments and there are fewer elected Members of the European Parliament serving 28 member states than there are members of the UK’s unelected House of Lords!
“The positive reason for staying in the European Union is one of long-standing voluntary co-operation between formerly warring states.
“Co-operation means we gain healthcare rights across the European Union. It means we gain from health research across the EU – Scotland is currently the lead on dementia research involving eleven member countries. Other member states of course are contributing to our health and wellbeing through their research.
“Co-operation enables us to share research in other scientific fields – Scotland is set to gain £1.2 billion by 2020 from the European Union Science Fund. Fantastic work carried out through our universities, often collaboratively with mainland European universities and their students and professors who come here to study and work.
“Co-operation makes us wealthier, through access to the markets of 27 other nation states -the European Union is Scotland’s top export destination taking 42% of our exports. That’s not just about big business, it involves many small and medium companies in all sorts of fields – biotech, digital/gaming, engineering, renewables, food and drink. Did you know that more whisky is drunk in France in a month than cognac in a year and that some of the seafood eaten by Scots holidaying in Spain comes from Scotland’s Islands?
“European Union co-operation means that social rights and protections have been advanced – consider holiday pay, maternity leave, trade union rights. The current UK Tory Government is already bashing the disabled and others least able to cope. The UK Trade Union legislation that’s coming down the line is a step back in time. Do we really want to endorse a proposal put forward by the Tory right that wants the UK to operate as a low-wage, low-regulatory economy? Do we really believe that the rest of the EU would be prepared to give unrestricted access to its markets?
“The European Union is about people. People from varying backgrounds and cultures coming together in economic and social union. I don’t want to lose those Estonian, German, Dutch or French nationals from our Health Service. I don’t want to see the ambitions of our young people hampered by being unable to study or work, by right, anywhere in the European Union. The EU has created opportunities for 2 million UK citizens who have chosen to live and work in other EU countries – what will happen to them?
“Working with our partners has given us the longest period of peace, stability and prosperity in European history. We should never forget that. Vote Remain on Thursday.”