CommonSpace view: Why we’re not backing Remain or Leave, we’re backing you #EUref


We do our best to inform our readers

OUR funders backed the concept of CommonSpace because they wanted a news service alongside all the commentary which is plentiful on the internet.

They told us they wanted fresh, original stories which stuck to factual reporting and presenting varying views and sides of debates. That's what we've created, and we have an open opinion platform on CommonSpace which anybody can submit to if they want to have their say on the news, but the in-house staff never publish articles in opinion. We stay focused on news.

That's why we tend to stay out of declaring positions on things and we don't publish editorials, and it's why we won't be taking a position on tomorrow's referendum on EU membership.

Our aim is to provide you with as much information and perspective as our small team can, and encourage you to come to a decision that feels right for you.

So in that spirit, let me round up a few articles that we've published over the last few weeks that have been particularly popular, or that we think brought something important to the conversation.

The impact on Scotland

It was important to cover questions that other media outlets weren’t asking: like what impact Brexit might have on Scotland, and how any negotiations could pan out.

Nicola Sturgeon will seek to keep Scotland in the EU if UK votes to Leave 

Scottish Greens: Parliament should unite to keep Scotland in Europe if England votes to Leave 

Brexit negotiations would leave Scotland with “no say whatsoever”, says Toni Giugliano #EUref

Scottish Leave campaign rejects claim Brexit vote would leave Scotland powerless 

Explainers and features

We put together a series of explainers to try and make our readers more informed, and some features to delve into some of the issues in more depth.

Take back control? Democracy and the European referendum

#EUref explained: Does the EU defend workers' rights?

#EUref explained: Is EU immigration really a problem needing solved?

#EUref explained: Is the EU a help or hindrance for our environment?

Farming and the #EUref: Meet the farmers on either side of the debate

Whether Britain stays or goes, are Europe’s fault lines deepening dangerously?

Project Fear II

There was a lot of talk about Project Fear after the Scottish independence referendum and concerns were raised that some EU ref campaigners would use scaremongering tactics, so we took a look at the similarities between the campaigns – and some of them were quite striking.

Project Fear the sequel: 5 ways the EU campaigns have learned from Better Together

How do younger people feel about it?

In May, 14-year-old Nathan Graham came to CommonSpace from Bathgate Academy to do a week’s work experience. While he was here, he took a look at how teenagers feel about the upcoming vote.

To vote or not to vote: How teenagers view the EU referendum

What the politicians, campaigners and academics have been saying

There have been a lot of claims and counter claims throughout the campaign. Here’s a random selection of some of them.

Humza Yousaf: Scots could keep UK in EU with "overwhelming" In vote

Ming Campbell: SNP must avoid "dog fight" with other parties in #euref

Leading tax and anti-corruption campaigners warn against Brexit

STUC general secretary: EU must regain "social dimenson" to defend Scottish workers rights

Listen: Cat Boyd, Maggie Chapman and Jim Sillars respond to EU deal

To leave or not to leave? The Scottish historians split on EU vote

Sturgeon: Brexit risks "rightwing Tory takeover"

Scottish Parliament expresses overwhelming support for #EUref In vote

Threats of war and economic collapse: The #euref campaign heats-up

5 key quotes from the Sturgeon vs Johnson debate and what they tell us

Anthony Barnett: Why the EU vote is an English, not British, reckoning 


We had many opinion pieces submitted by our readers. Some have been coming down in favour of Remain – albeit reluctantly in some cases.

David Aitchison: Why I'm reluctantly voting to remain in the EU

Siobhan Tolland: Why you should vote Remain on Thursday

Others, like Jim Sillars, have been strongly in favour of leaving.

Jim Sillars: Why Scottish nationalists should back #Brexit

Robin McAlpine, on the other hand, couldn’t decide.

Robin McAlpine: Europe – why I have no answers for you #EUref

Meanwhile, some people took a look at the EU referendum in the context of Scottish independence. Eóghan Macmillan, for example, explained why he thinks it makes sense to be in favour of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom and to vote Remain, while Anas Hassan warned that Brexit may not lead keen Yes voters to independence as quickly as they’d like.

Eóghan Macmillan: Why I support the European Union but not the United Kingdom

Anas Hassan: Why it's dangerous to assume Brexit will lead to Scottish independence

In Ross Ahlfeld’s view, the EU referendum conversation has been missing strong Christian voices, while for Carolyn Scott, voters on the left should keep their minds open to leftwing euro-scepticism.

Ross Ahlfeld: Easter Rising and Brexit debates in the UK are missing a vital Christian voice 

Carolyn Scott: Why we must keep our minds open to radical left euro-scepticism


Cartooning duo Greg Moodie and Rose Garnett tackled the EU referendum in their own unique way during series three of MoodieVision on CommonSpace. Warning: riddled with swearwords. Riddled.

What's next?

When it’s all said and done, here’s how Scotland’s results will be unveiled after the polls close.

How Scotland’s EU referendum results will be declared 

One last thing

The one thing we really hope for at CommonSpace is that you will go out and vote. Take your place, with confidence, in our democracy. Your voice matters.

Picture: CommonSpace

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