Scottish parliament backs Britain staying in EU

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Edinburgh, May 27 (IANS) The Scottish Parliament on Thursday decided to back the campaign for Britain including Scotland to remain part of the European Union (EU).

The outcome reaffirmed a commitment across the chamber to ensure the EU focuses on what matters to the people of Scotland, Xinhua news agency quoted Scottish government as saying in a press release.

The Scottish government is making a positive case for allowing the people of Scotland freedom to live, study and work across the 28 EU member states, it added.

“The EU is founded on the principles of solidarity and mutual support. It is much more than a simple trade association. It is based on the principles of strengthening peace, security, justice and prosperity for all,” said Scottish Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

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Scotland’s place in the EU guarantees workers in Scotland employment rights such as maternity leave, and has helped Scottish businesses to innovate, grow and flourish, she noted.

About 42 percent of Scotland’s international exports, worth around $17 billion in 2014, are destined for the EU, a trading area of 500 million consumers, said Hyslop.

“Migration from the EU also benefits the communities, businesses and people of Scotland helping meet crucial skills gaps in Scotland’s economy. In my own portfolio, the tourism industry needs access to European workers,” she added.

Britain will hold a referendum on June 23 to decide whether it should remain in the EU.

More than three-quarters of Scots will back a vote for Britain to stay in the EU, latest poll results showed.

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