A DISTINCTLY Scottish arm of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign will be launched this week with a leading academic unveiled as its key adviser.
Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic and inter-religious studies at Edinburgh University, will chair the advisory group of the Scottish arm of the campaign, which aims to unite figures from across the Scottish constitutional divide when it comes to making the case for the UK staying in the EU.
Scotland Stronger in Europe will be launched at an event in Edinburgh later this week, where the full advisory group will be named. The campaign said the group would be gender-balanced and would bring together figures from the Yes and No sides of the Scottish independence referendum.
Siddiqui, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, holds the posts of assistant principal for religion and society and dean international for the Middle East at the university.
She said: “The campaign to show that Scotland is better off in Europe will be positive, factual and people-based, making the case that our quality of life is better and horizons broader by keeping our place in the European Union.
“We will be working extremely hard to contribute to a UK-wide vote to stay in Europe, whenever the referendum is called.”
The announcement follows a recent TNS poll that put Scottish support for remaining in the EU at 44 per cent, compared with 21 per cent who want to leave.
Senior campaign spokesman John Edward, former head of the European Parliament’s office in Scotland, said: “We know that there is a majority in Scotland to remain in the EU, but we are taking nothing for granted. We also know the potential for a higher turnout north of the Border to have a big influence on the UK-wide result, and we believe that can and will have a galvanising effect on voters to turn out and vote ‘Remain’ on referendum day.”
Siddiqui joined the University of Edinburgh’s Divinity school in December 2011 as the first person to hold a chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies.