Farron challenges Scottish Tory Leader over EU Referendum

Way back in September last year, Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson made some positive noises on the idea that Britain should remain in the EU. She’s been pretty quiet since, presumably not wanting to scare the many Eurosceptic horses in her own party. Her Twitter feed was silent on the issue yesterday as news broke of the draft deal

Tim Farron is up in Edinburgh today (and so far the weather is very sunny for him) and, ahead of his visit, he challenged Ruth to take on those in her party who want to take Britain out of the EU.

He said she should stop being scared of her right wing:

In England, the Tories have been hopelessly split on the issue of Europe for a generation. Now it seems that Ruth Davidson is running scared of her right wing in Scotland too.

The Prime Minister has come back with his deal. The phony war is over. It is time for people to take a stand.

Ruth says that she wants to remain in Europe but has said next to nothing since. It is time that she thought again about the cowardly approach we have seen from her so far. Timidity to avoid outrage from the Scottish Tory blue rinse brigade will not help keep Scotland and the rest of the UK at the heart of the EU.

Voters could be going to the polls to decide whether we remain in the EU or not within months. It is time that she challenged the right wing, out-at-all-cost mentality that is so dangerous for our country and made the positive case for our place in the EU.

Scotland and the UK have benefited from the single market, the free movement of people, better social conditions and peace on the continent which has been bedevilled by war in previous centuries. It is time to stand up for what is great about partnership in Europe. The EU isn’t perfect, but what is perfect? Of course we can make it better but the benefits are clear with or without further change.

This is the bright and positive case all pro Europeans should be making as we approach the big vote. Now is not the time for timidity.

With Tories like Tim Montgomerie already openly talking about a “Neverendum”, this campaign needs all pro-EU hands to the pump to settle the issue for a long time.

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  • Well, I suppose Tim has to say that, but I’d be reluctant to give the Tories the oxygen of publicity.

    Much rather make a positive Scottish case for Europe.

  • No one elected Montgomerie he is just another nuisance like iain martin and fraser nelson. People with an overblown sense of their own importance. None of them has ever had a real job just taking the largesse of the newspaper barons with the odd overgenerous fee from the BBC.

  • Over 50% support the SNP who want to stay in, around 20% support Labour who want to stay in, around 10% support the Greens who want to stay in, 4% support lib dems who want in leaving around 12% conservative around 60% of whom want to stay in. it leaves a few confused blue rinses who are not sure but think Mr Eden would not let them down.

  • John Mitchell 3rd Feb '16 - 5:22pm

    To be fair to Ruth Davidson, I think she has made her position pretty clear already. I’d be surprised to see the Scottish Conservatives campaigning for a EU exit with a leader that’s really quite pro-Europe.

    I do feel as though there is a lack of balance in this debate. It seems as though all the parties have to take one side or the other. It feels forced. At least there is some debate in Conservative and Labour ranks.

    As a Liberal Democrat I’m leaning towards voting to leave the European Union but that’s a position I’ve held for some time. With TTIP and a deal that looks as though it’s not thorough in reform I don’t really see an alternative. The conditions for sovereignty and on Britain not having to adopt the Euro at some stage I am just not believing. The direction of the EU is more integration, it has to be, and that’s not something that I believe is in the UK’s interests.

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