EDINBURGH – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explained why Scotts should choose to stay in the EU.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says, “If Scotland were to vote in favour of EU membership and the rest of the UK were to vote to leave the Scotland …that could lead to a Second Referendum on Scottish Independence.”

The last referendum on Scottish Independence on September 18, 2014 has left the Scotland in the UK Union with 55.25 % voting for staying in the UK and 44.65 % voting for leaving.

Polls show that from July 2015 to February 2016 from 50 to 65 % of Scottish would choose to stay in the EU compare to the overall UK public ranging from 51 to 55 %. The figures vary for those who want to leave the EU with Scottish voters reaching 22 to 31 % and the UK voters 45 to 50 %.

Sturgeon responded to the misconception that people usually hold against her views on the EU membership. Some hold the view that there is a contradiction in supporting the independence of Scotland and the EU membership. Sturgeon said, “28 members of the EU are independent countries…there is nothing at all contradictory that independent nations recognise [their] interdependence choosing to pull some sovereignty to advantage.”

Sturgeon focussed on the importance of the social rights during her speech. She said that there was no guarantee that the UK government will improve people’s rights without the pressure from the EU. “After all, in 2013, UK only increased the minimum entitlement to parental leave as the result of European directives,” Sturgeon said.

Addressing the immigration issue, Sturgeon said: “I am aware that the volume of immigration in England is greater than in Scotland… but fundamentally I believe that all parts of the UK benefit from people choosing to come here to work and study… I think the answer to the concerns that people have … isn’t to clamp down on free movement. Instead, the answer is that to ensure that the economy works more effectively for people who are currently unemployed or on low wages or struggling to access housing.”

She also addressed the advantages of the access to the single market. Sturgeon says that “in Scotland, the annual export to other EU countries is worth more than £2000 per every person… [EU] help to support 100 000 jobs.”

 Dimona Delvere, Correspondent (Europe)