The Scottish arm of Britain Stronger In Europe, campaigning for the UK to stay in the European Union at the forthcoming referendum, was formally launched at a reception in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
Also this week, the campaign’s headquarters in Glasgow city centre opened for business.
At the event, the membership of the Scotland Stronger In Europe Advisory Group – chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui – was announced. The members have huge expertise and knowledge in their own fields, and collectively represent the diversity of Scotland’s national life. The 10-strong advisory board contains five women and five men.
Speaking at the launch at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth, Professor Siddiqui said:
"Scotland Stronger In Europe believes that we are stronger, better off and safer as part of the European Union. Staying in is the right choice for the sake of jobs, trade, investment, prices and security. Everyone knows that the EU isn’t perfect – but the gains of being in clearly outweigh the costs.
“The referendum result at UK level may well be extremely close, and Scotland’s votes could make the difference in delivering a vote to stay.
“We know that support to remain in Europe crosses other Scottish political divides, and therefore the Stronger In campaign can be a common platform for people to stand on in Scotland.
“By their very nature, referendums tend to be divisive, and that may be the case elsewhere in the UK. But in this referendum, Scotland has an opportunity to come together and lead the way in keeping the UK in Europe.”
John Edward, Scotland Stronger in Europe’s Senior Campaign Spokesperson, added:
“Scotland Stronger In Europe is making a positive, fact-based case to remain in Europe. We believe that is what will be most effective in mobilising the strong majority that exists in Scotland for the UK to stay in.
“There is big and broad support in Scotland to stay in Europe, but we aren’t taking a single vote for granted.
“Instead, the opportunity for Scotland to help determine the UK-wide result will be a key part of our message in enthusing and motivating the electorate.”
MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY GROUP
Vice President Unicorn ARC (Applied Research Collaboration), formerly a Commissioned Officer in the British Army.
Professor Sir Harry Burns
Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde and former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland; Chair of the University’s Centre for Health Policy.
Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Money, headquartered in Edinburgh.
Dame Anne Glover
Vice-Principal External Affairs & Dean for Europe at the University of Aberdeen. She served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission, and before that was the first ever Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the leadership development social enterprise Dare2Lead. He is a youth leader, civil society activist and motivational speaker.
Urban crofter, former Chief Executive of Scotland Europa, promoting Scotland to the EU Institutions in Brussels, and CEO of Dunbartonshire Enterprise.
Assistant General Secretary at Community Trade Union.
President of NUS Scotland. Also sits on the board of Who Cares? Scotland, a national voluntary organisation providing advocacy, advice and support services across Scotland for children and young people with experience of care.
Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE (Chair)
Assistant Principal for Religion and Society and Dean international for the Middle East at the University of Edinburgh, Chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University, and fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Professor Petra Wend
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, in March 2015 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in recognition of her inspirational leadership in higher education.