SCOTS will vote for independence if Britain leaves the EU.

Backing for independence would be as high as 54 per cent, according to an Ipsos Mori poll for STV.

The survey showed that voters in Scotland are overwhelmingly behind staying in Europe, with 62 per cent saying they want to remain and just 26 per cent saying they would leave.

Last week a UK wide poll for the Times pointed towards Britain severing ties with the EU with 45 per cent saying they’d vote to leave and 36 per cent voting to stay. Although yesterday’s STV poll said 55 per cent of Britons will vote to stay.

When faced with the situation that Scotland might be forced out of Europe regardless of how they vote, 54 per cent of Scottish voters said they would then support independence, against 39 per cent who would vote to remain in the UK.

It came as the people behind Scotland’s campaign to remain in the EU said they would be more “project cheer” and less “project fear”.

Launching the campaign yesterday John Edwards, senior spokesman for the group said, the Scotland Stronger in Europe would be “upbeat, positive and relying on facts” and “distinct” from the UK’s campaign.

“What we’re aiming to do is make a very dedicated Scottish campaign,” Edwards said. “It’s not going to be just part of the United Kingdom campaign. We’re specifically making sure that isn’t even cross-party but non-party.

“We’re aware that referenda, at times, can be divisive. But this is an opportunity for people to come together behind an issue which a lot of people in Scotland, political and non-political support.

“We’ve had a couple of questions about whether this is project this or project that, at best I’d like to think it’ll be a sort of project cheer, we’re going to be upbeat about this. This is not to give scare stories, this is not to give negative reasons why not to do something.”

In her speech Professor Mona Siddiqui, who will chair the Scottish Advisory panel of the campaign, warned that Scotland’s global influence and its trading relationships with the US, Japan and China would be damaged by the UK leaving the EU.

“At a time when the world seems to be closing in on itself, when we are wary of a stranger we need good neighbours,” Prof Siddiqui said.

“If we were on our own, the balance of power would be quite different and our ability to influence seriously diminished.

“With all the global risks we face just now, do we want to take another risk?” she asked.

Fellow advisory group member John Park, from the Community trade union, said it was important to use the debate during the referendum as “an opportunity to remind people about the good things that have come from the EU.”

Pointing towards free movement, TUPE laws that protect employees’ rights when the organisation they work for transfers to a new employer, and health and safety legislation, he warned that a vote to leave would “be an opportunity to start the firing gun on a race to the bottom of workers rights”.

Jack Montgomery, Scottish spokesman for the Leave.EU campaign called the launch “shambolic”.

“John Edward promised a ‘positive, upbeat’ pitch, but a litany of laughable scare stories was all he could deliver, with Brexit supposedly threatening jobs, influence, workers’ rights and, incredibly, even public health,” Montgomery said.

“After working in hospitality, I can say with confidence that the free market in cut-price labour created by the EU has rendered many workers’ rights a dead letter.

“The influence we supposedly wield through Brussels, meanwhile, will be news to thousands of unemployed Scottish fishermen and steelworkers who have been put out of business by ill-conceived EU regulations and trade policy.”