EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Britain will become increasingly detached from the European Union even if it votes to stay in the bloc in a June referendum, according to a report released by a Sottish parliamentary committee on Saturday.
The dossier drawn up by the devolved Scottish parliament’s European and External Relations Committee aimed to assess the implications for Scotland of Britain’s referendum on EU membership in June.
“If the UK decides to remain in the EU, the committee feels certain that the UK’s relationship with the EU will be one of increasing detachment from the EU,” the report says, adding that Scotland should be careful not to be “pulled to the periphery”.
The report also warns that the reform of social benefits and free movement within the EU agreed between British Prime Minister and other EU leaders could result in less immigration to Scotland – whose population is ageing more rapidly than elsewhere in the UK.
Scottish lawmakers regret the lack of “genuine debate about the value of EU membership”, the report said, saying the campaign was too negatively centred on the risks of Britain leaving.
An Ipsos Mori poll last month showed 62 percent of Scottish voters would support EU membership compared to 55 percent across Britain.
Senior politicians have warned that if Scotland votes to stay in the EU but the rest of Britain votes to leave, nationalists could seek a new referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. In 2014 Scots voted against secession.