Gordon Brown is to claim that Scotland could vote to stay in the European Union by a margin of 70 per cent to 30 per cent in the UK government’s In-Out referendum.
Mr Brown will make the claim as he launches the Scottish Labour Movement for Europe campaign with a keynote speech in Edinburgh today), when he will call for a “positive and patriotic” case to be made for UK membership of the EU.
He will say that Scots may vote to stay in the EU by a bigger majority than the last referendum on Europe in 1975, when the nation narrowly voted to remain as a member.
In 1975, the overall UK vote in favour of Europe was 68 per cent, compared to 32 for withdrawal, although 58 per cent of the Scottish electorate voted to stay in, compared with 42 per cent against.
However, the former prime minister will say that the pro-Europe vote in Scotland in the referendum – due before the end of 2017 – will be “much better” if a case can be made that EU membership supports Scottish jobs and business.
Mr Brown claims that up to 300,000 Scottish jobs and 20,000 Scots businesses are linked to the UK’s status as a member of the EU.
“I believe we can do much better in 2016 and if we put forward a positive, principled and progressive case, we can win 70 per cent for versus 30 against.”