First Ministers Join Forces To Call For EU Remain Vote

22 June 2016, 07:45

Five Scottish first ministers from three political parties have come together in an unprecedented show of unity to urge voters to Remain in the European Union.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and her predecessor Alex Salmond, former Scottish Labour leaders Jack McConnell and Henry McLeish and former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace have signed a joint statement to maximise the Remain vote in Scotland.

Scottish Vote Leave said the Holyrood leaders are part of a "project fear establishment" who are "out of touch with ordinary voters''.

In a joint statement, the first ministers said: ``We are proud to come together to urge our fellow Scots to vote Remain in this unprecedented display of unity in the history of the Scottish Parliament.

"The stakes could hardly be higher. Staying in the European Union and its single market is vital for jobs and investment in Scotland, and also enshrines key protections for workers and consumers.

"We must vote to keep our EU rights and by maximising the Remain vote in Scotland we could make the difference in keeping the UK in the European Union.

"Our message to the people of Scotland is to unite as a nation, turn out on Thursday and vote Remain.''

Current Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has urged UK voters to learn from the Scottish independence referendum and listen to experts who are warning of the economic risks of leaving the EU.

Speaking ahead of a Remain rally in London, Ms Dugdale said: "In the independence referendum they told us we were scaremongering ... yet we've been proved right.

"The warnings from the experts were accurate. In fact, they downplayed the risks at the time, on oil, on currency, on our public finances.

"Nigel Farage can dismiss some of the experts some of the time. But he can't dismiss all of the experts all of the time.''

Current Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "Tomorrow we can choose to work together or walk away from international co-operation that has helped keep the peace in Europe for more than five decades.

"We will choose to work together or walk away from something that has given us billions of pounds in trade, millions of jobs across the UK and has helped bring thousands of criminals to justice.''

A Scottish Vote Leave spokesman said: "The former first ministers are out of touch with ordinary voters by saying we shouldn't worry about uncontrolled EU migration.

"Yet for for millions of Scots that is the real concern. Uncontrolled EU migration depresses wages, pushes up rents and puts pressure on our NHS.

"In this referendum we are being asked to give away our ability to influence decisions and govern our country.

"Outside the EU we will have control over our borders, we will have more powers for our Parliament and more money to spend on our public services.''