Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray last night called on countries to remember the EU is a “family of nations” amid suggestions Greece could be sealed off under plans to tackle the migrant crisis.
The Labour frontbencher’s intervention came after it emerged European leaders will reportedly consider moving the frontier of Schengen – the area which allows passport-free travel within Europe – north.
He said: “Unless the EU can come to a proper coordinated response, all the pressure is on Greece.
“They don’t need to be cut off, they need to be supported.
“If a family member is in real trouble, you just can’t then cut them off. That doesn’t seem to be part of what the EU should be about.”
He also urged Nicola Sturgeon to focus on the In campaign rather than talking about an Out vote triggering a second independence referendum if Scotland votes to stay.
Former prime minister Tony Blair picked up on this yesterday, warning: “In my opinion, if the UK votes to leave Europe, Scotland will vote to leave the UK. It is extremely serious for Great Britain.”
Speculation a summer in/out vote remains likely was boosted yesterday by the publication of the proposed ballot paper in draft regulations laid before the Westminster parliament.
They must be approved at least 10 weeks before the UK is asked to decide whether to remain in the EU.
But Mr Cameron has sounded increasingly cautious about the prospect of securing a re-negotiation deal in time.
And Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond suggested yesterday agreement on the UK’s re-negotiation may be delayed beyond next month’s Brussels summit by the pressure of other urgent problems facing the 28-nation bloc.
The European Council meeting is the deadline for holding a referendum before the summer.
First Minister Ms Sturgeon has warned against a June poll on the grounds it would be “disrespectful” to Scotland because of the overlap with the Holyrood election campaign.
Reports have suggested June 23 is Downing Street’s preferred date, but last night Number 10 refused to speculate.
Meanwhile, a report by campaign group Migration Watch UK has claimed Britain could slash net migration by more than 100,000 a year if it leaves the EU.