Chancellor pays visit as part 
of EU campaign

George Osborne  at Stagehall Farm, Stow, during his visit to the Borders last week
George Osborne at Stagehall Farm, Stow, during his visit to the Borders last week

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited the Borders last Thursday as part of an EU referendum campaign urging people to vote to remain in Europe.

He was accompanied by Scottish Conservative party leader Ruth Davidson as they turned up the pressure on unionists to vote to stay in Europe.

With a week to go before the country votes, campaigners on both sides are stepping up their efforts, and Scottish support for remaining in the European Union remains strong at over 70%.

Both Mr Osborne and Ms Davidson would like to see the rest of the UK vote to remain to avoid any claim by the Scottish National Party that Scotland was being pulled out of Europe against the will of the people, prompting further calls for a second Scottish independence referendum.

Support to remain part of the EU is strong across the political spectrum in Scotland, and in the south of the country, politicians are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in.

All six south of Scotland list MSPs voted in favour of remain during a debate in the Holyrood chamber, as did John Lamont, Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire.

A vote at the end of the debate saw 106 MSPs vote in favour of remaining, eight against and three abstaining.

Among the eight voting to leave the EU was Oliver Mundell, the newly elected MSP for Dumfries and son of MP and Scottish secretary David Mundell, who himself is in favour of remaining in Europe.

Oliver Mundell is the only south of Scotland MSP is favour of leaving the EU.

Roxburgh, Selkirk and Berwickshire MP Calum Kerr, of the SNP, is also backing the remain campaign.

“I’ve always supported the UK staying within the EU, and I will be voting to remain on June 23,” said Mr Kerr.

Mr Lamont, however, says he is becoming increasingly concerned at the damage the EU referendum battle is doing to his party.

“We’re at risk of ripping ourselves apart.”

Poll cards for electors in the Scottish Borders were sent out in mid-May to anyone who is registered.

For the benefit of those who have still not made up their minds, the council has provided a link – http://ow.ly/gsmJ3012loA – to the guide produced by the UK Electoral Commission giving information from lead campaigners on both sides of the debate.