New campaign to forge close ties between Scotland and EU

The eu+me campaign is chaired by former North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins.

A campaign hopes to build and maintain a close relationship between Scotland and the EU after Brexit has been launched.

The eu+me campaign is chaired by former SNP MP Stephen Gethins and its director is the party’s one-time head of communications, Fergus Mutch.

The group cites new polling that suggests Scots regret Brexit and would vote to rejoin in another referendum.

Mutch, who unsuccessfully stood against Conservative MP Andrew Bowie in the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency in December’s general election, said the campaign will be a “grassroots-led force for positive change” at a crucial moment in Scotland’s relationship with Europe.

He said: “There’s a very real risk that in just over five months time we crash out of the transition period with no deal and irreparably damage the relationships that have maintained peace and prosperity across Europe for over 60 years.

“Never has an energetic campaign been more badly needed to protect our status and to help shape our future as Europeans.”

Mutch said the campaign aims to “influence what comes next” and was not aligned to any political party.

It has been launched alongside polling that suggests 65% of Scots regret the Brexit result.

“The coming months could not be more crucial to secure the rights we’ve enjoyed for most of our lifetimes to live, work, travel, study and thrive as part of Europe”, Mutch said.

According to the Survation survey, 62% of Scots would want to rejoin the EU and the other 38% would opt to stay out of the EU, excluding those who answered “don’t know”.

More than a third (35.7%) of the 1,127 Scots who were surveyed also believe the economic impact of coronavirus would have been reduced if the UK remained in the EU.

Mutch added: “Despite the turbulence of the past four years, governments have failed to settle the question of Brexit UK-wide through leadership and sensible compromise.

“High-risk brinkmanship remains the negotiating approach. It’s a strategy doomed to fail.

“People view Europe as key to our shared prosperity, and the devastating impact of a global pandemic has reinforced the fact that our recovery depends on cooperation.”

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