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Baker urges people to campaign for UK to remain part of EU

North-east MSP Richard Baker has secured enough nominations to be an official candidate in the Scottish Labour deputy leadership contest.
North-east MSP Richard Baker has secured enough nominations to be an official candidate in the Scottish Labour deputy leadership contest.

An MSP has called on people across the north-east to launch a “strong” campaign to ensure the UK remains part of the European Union.

Labour’s Richard Baker said it would be a “disaster” if the country left because membership had benefited the region in a wide variety of ways.

The Conservative government in London has promised to hold a in\out EU referendum in 2017.

Prime Minister David Cameron wants to negotiate a better deal and campaign for the UK to stay in.

A debate on the European Union referendum is being held in the Scottish Parliament today. (tues)

Mr Baker said: “European Union membership is important in the north-east and it would be a disaster for our local economy if the UK decided to leave the EU.

“Significant advances have been made in health and safety as a member of the EU strengthening protection for workers, and that is vital in industries like oil and gas.

“We also know that the EU is a key market for many local companies and membership is vital to that trading taking place.”

Mr Baker said projects in the north-east had benefited from EU funding.

“Aberdeen has received significant funding towards they hydrogen scheme to the tune of £8.3million and Aberdeenshire benefited from over £23million of project funding between 2007-12 alone,” he added.

“That is why we need a strong campaign to keep the UK in the EU, promoting the benefits of membership for the north-east.”

Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler want Kezia Dugdale to take over from Jim Murphy as the leader of Scottish Labour.

Ms Stihler said: “Kezia represents a new generation and has the energy and the ideas to transform our party and our country, without any of the baggage of the past.

“The EU referendum is a chance for Scottish Labour to be front and centre of a positive, outward looking campaign about Scotland and the UK’s place in the world.”

Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh is also competing for the leadership.

He has vowed to scrap the care tax which vulnerable people like the disabled have to pay to access social care services.

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