The European Union (EU) referendum could be won or lost on the votes of Labour supporters, according to shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray.
Labour’s only Scottish MP said his party had a “crucial” role to play in the debate over the future of the UK in Europe.
He warned against the referendum turning into a vote on immigration, comparing EU opponents to US presidential candidate Donald Trump in their “denial” of globalisation.
In a speech in Brussels, Mr Murray said being part of the EU was the best way to tackle modern challenges such as climate change and security.
He said: “This is where I believe that the key difference between those who want to see us remain in Europe and those who want to see us leave derives from.
“In much the same way as Donald Trump is telling people across the United States that the way to ‘make America great again’ is to build a wall; to deny rather than face the forces of globalisation, the opponents of the EU are pretending that the way we deal with global challenges is to isolate ourselves from the world.”
The MP said supporters of the EU should focus their efforts on the “ordinary working people” at the sharp end of globalisation.
He said: “The people we really need to convince are those who have felt most sharply the effects of globalisation. Who have seen the industries in their towns die and have heard stories of jobs being moved to other parts of Europe to cut costs. Who regularly worry about the undercutting of wages and the impact of immigration.”