Taxpayers’ money and civil servants will both be mobilized by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she drives the Scottish Government’s campaign to ensure Britain remains a member of the European Union (EU).
The First Minister’s official spokesman said the Scottish Government will publish materials ahead of the June 23 referendum that will set out the benefits Scotland receives from being in the EU, The Daily Telegraph reports.
It was likely that a pro-EU paper would be produced soon setting out the arguments “in broad terms” for staying in and civil servants are already writing the document for voters, the spokesman added.
Public money has already been spent on a pro-Europe speech Nicola Sturgeon delivered in London on Monday this week, which was underwritten by Scottish Government resources.
Opinion polls have consistently suggested that EU membership is more popular in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.
As Breitbart London has reported, Miss Sturgeon has never concealed her desire for strong EU contacts and during last year’s referendum campaign she said Scotland would demand a second independence referendum should the UK vote to leave the EU.
While being more left-leaning and pro-EU than most other areas of the UK, Scotland did return a UKIP MEP last May. David Coburn took the seat of Lib Dem George Lyon to be the party’s first elected representative north of the border.
“If there was an out vote across the UK and Scotland wants to stay in… I suspect if we were in those circumstances there would be a clamour of people across Scotland to look again at the independence question, whether I’m proposing it or not,” Miss Sturgeon said during the campaign.
Although foreign affairs are reserved to Westminster, the Telegraph reports civil servants can support the Scottish Government’s policy of an In vote apart from during a six-week purdah period before the Holyrood election on May 5.
Officials gave no cost other than saying it would come from “existing budgets”, but the confirmation that Scottish taxpayers’ money will be used confers a substantial spending advantage on the pro-EU campaign north of the Border. The UK Government is also using public funds to press for an In vote.
David Coburn MEP said: “It’s appalling the SNP should be using taxpayers’ money to persuade people to stay in the EU with dodgy dossiers or fallacious files.
“The SNP should not be using government money on propaganda for the In campaign.”
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