Ousted MP backs Brexit
Harris defies Labour line
The former MP for Castlemilk, King’s Park and Croftfoot is set to take a leading role in the Scottish campaign for the UK to leave the European Union.
Tom Harris, who comes from King’s Park, announced last week he is backing Brexit on June 23.
In doing so Mr Harris has gone against the position of the Labour Party, who support the UK’s continued membership of the EU.
He has now been appointed campaign director for the leave campaign in Scotland.
Writing in our sister paper, the Daily Record last week, Mr Harris said: “The Labour Party has a long tradition of healthy scepticism when it comes to the EU.”
He added: “It’s true that most Labour MPs will be voting for the UK to remain part of the EU but Labour voters themselves are not as convinced and who can blame them?
“Every week the UK sends £350 million to the EU. Scotland’s share is roughly a tenth of that: more than £1.5 billion a year.
“Just think what that money could buy here in Scotland – on schools, on our health service, repairing our roads – if it wasn’t being sent into the black hole that is EU spending.”
Speaking on immigration, he said: “Let’s be absolutely clear: immigration has done our country a great deal of good, both economically and culturally, and it will continue to benefit us.
“But it has to be managed. That means welcoming those who have the skills we need and won’t have to resort to living on benefits and it means taking control of our own borders.”
Mr Harris also said leaving the EU would mean more powers for Holyrood and warned people against “scare stories from the pro-EU campaign”.
Polls suggest the referendum result is too close to call, although in Scotland the appetite for staying in the EU appears to be far greater.
Mr Harris spent 14 years as a Labour MP before losing his seat to the SNP’s Stewart McDonald last May.
Labour his a long tradition of scepticism