Economists, scientists and academics plead for Remain vote

Nobel prize winning economists have joined hundreds of scientists and academics in Scotland to say that the UK is better off in the European Union (EU).

A joint statement signed by thousands of academics across the UK says leaving the EU would "stifle our science, innovation and jobs".

They believe the interests of universities in the UK "and the knowledge economy they represent" are best served by staying in the EU.

Voters will decide the future of the UK in Europe in Thursday's referendum.

Ten Nobel prize-winning economists - including Professor Sir James Mirrlees, professor Emeritus at Cambridge University and a member of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's Council of Economic Advisers - believe "the economic arguments are clearly in favour of remaining in the EU".

Professor Dame Anne Glover, former chief scientific adviser to the President of the European Commission and the first ever Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, said: "I want to live in a country that is outward looking, compassionate, welcoming and that has a central role in working with others to address global challenges.

"Membership of the EU benefits every one of us in the UK, whether through enhanced workers' rights, imaginative environmental legislation or access to the world's biggest single market.

"Our science, engineering and technology thrives through the funding and collaboration membership of the EU delivers. This is the core of a successful sustainable economy. We mustn't condemn future generations to impoverished obscurity."

Businesses and universities will receive nearly £1.2 billion in EU science funding by 2020 if the UK votes to remain in the EU, Scotland Stronger In Europe said.

Campaign spokesman John Edward said: "Being in the EU is vital for having strong science and a successful economy in Scotland.

"It means more investment, more innovation and working together across borders to solve the big challenges we face, from cancer to heart disease.

"The choice in this referendum comes down to who you trust - the experts and academics, or the politicians leading the Leave campaign.

"I hope voters will think carefully about the long-term impact of their decision, because there is no going back.

"The overwhelming evidence is that we are stronger, safer and better off in Europe."