The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

SNP MP reports Leave campaign to watchdog

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Vote Leave has been reported to the body regulating the EU referendum for issuing a “woefully misleading” leaflet about the SNP’s Europe spokesman.

Stephen Gethins, the MP for North East Fife, featured on literature distribute­d by the campaign group.

It splices pieces of a speech he made in the House of Commons to produce a comment which Mr Gethins said “intentiona­lly and woefully misreprese­nted” his views.

The flyer says: “We believe that the United Kingdom can be a successful, independen­t country outside the European Union ... Scottish fishermen can tell of the failings of the Common Fisheries Policy.”

Mr Gethins wrote to Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Vote Leave, but has yet to receive a response.

The Courier can reveal the MP has now contacted the Electoral Commission raising concerns over the leaflet.

He said “For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever I believe that the UK is much better off within the European Union and that is the case I was making in the comments that were selectivel­y quoted by Vote Leave.

“This debate should not be a zero sum game about the disaster that would befall the UK should it leave the EU. But rather we should treat it with the seriousnes­s it deserves and the debate should be one about the best future of the UK.

“That was the point I made in my remarks and it is disappoint­ing that Vote Leave have cynically misreprese­nted my call for a mature debate about the EU.”

Tom Harris, director of Scottish Vote Leave, said: “We used the quote from Stephen because he is one of the few politician­s on the Remain side of this campaign to admit that we could thrive outside the EU. He and his party should be congratula­ted for taking such a positive stand, although it’s still a mystery why the SNP believe our fishing industry is better run from Brussels than from Holyrood.”

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