Most Scots want to stay in EU, according to poll

An EU flag flies with a Saltire above Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
An EU flag flies with a Saltire above Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A MAJORITY of Scots want the UK to remain in the European Union while voters in England are in favour of leaving, according to a poll.

Prime Minister David Cameron is to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017.

A Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times found 51% of people in England support leaving the institution while 66% of those in Scotland want to remain in the EU.

The Scottish Government supports remaining within the EU and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for Scotland and other devolved administrations to be given a role at the UK negotiating table on EU reforms before the referendum.

Ms Sturgeon has previously said a vote to take the UK out of the EU against Scotland’s will could be the catalyst for another Scottish independence referendum.

Such a vote would be a ‘’material change of circumstances’’, she said.

But the First Minister has vowed to play a constructive role in the debate and has also called for a ‘’double lock’’ to ensure that no exit from the EU can take place without a majority in all four nations of the UK agreeing to it.

SNP Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins MP said: “With the unprecedented democratic mandate the people of Scotland have given the SNP, we will provide a distinctively Scottish voice in the EU referendum debate, setting out the positive case for Scotland’s place within the European family of nations.

“The EU referendum jeopardises our place in Europe - but now that it is going ahead, it is essential that Scotland’s voice is heard.

“Our common sense amendment for a double-majority safeguard will ensure Scotland cannot be ripped out of the EU against its will. This - along with votes for EU nationals and 16 and 17-year-olds - must be included in Westminster’s EU Referendum Bill.

“Failure to do so means the Bill clearly fails to meet the gold standard set by Scotland’s independence referendum.”

The Sunday Times poll surveyed more than 1,000 people in Scotland and 956 in the rest of the UK between June 26 and July 3.

It also showed a further surge is support for the SNP ahead of next year’s Scottish Parliament election.

A host of recent polls have suggested the SNP will win all constituency seats at the Holyrood, with opposition parties restricted to regional list seats.

The Panelbase poll found the SNP would increase its majority to 73 of the 129 seats, with Labour reduced from 37 to 27, the Conservatives on 18, the Liberal Democrats with six and the Scottish Greens winning five.

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