Scottish nationals would vote to remain in EU (Reuters)

The majority of Scots said they would vote for Britain to stay in the European Union if there was a referendum on the matter.

This is in contrast to attitudes towards EU membership in England, where just 42 percent of people say they would vote to stay in.

An Ipsos MORI poll found that 58 percent of people in Scotland think there should be a referendum on Britain's membership in the EU, with 36 percent saying there should not be a vote.

People living in the poorest areas of Scotland, men and people over the age of 55 showed the highest support for a referendum.

It also found that Conservative and SNP voters were in favour of a referendum, with 65 percent and 63 percent wanting a vote respectively.

Fifty three percent of Scots said they would vote to stay in the EU, while 34 percent said they would leave.

Support for staying part of the EU was highest among people aged between 18 and 24 (68 percent), and those living in affluent areas (66 percent).

Liberal Democrats and Labour voters were most likely to vote in favour of the EU, with 70 percent and 60 percent showing support respectively.

This is in stark contrast to attitudes to Britain's EU membership in England, where just 42 percent said they would vote to say in, an Ipsos MORI poll found in November.

Scotland's EU membership unclear

Christopher McLean, senior researcher at Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: "The poll highlights the differences between the attitudes of the Scots and the English towards the EU.

"Although Scots agree with the prime minister that there should be a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU, a majority would vote to stay in, compared with only a minority in England."

Scottish respondents were asked how they would vote on a EU referendum if Scotland was an independent nation. Sixty one percent said an independent Scotland should stay in the EU.

McLean added: "It is also clear that, regardless of whether or not they support independence, the majority of Scots would want to see Scotland remain part of the EU should the 'Yes' campaign be successful in 2014."

Earlier this week, the UK government said Scotland will have to reapply for its EU membership if it votes to leave the UK in 2014.

A report by the Treasury said: "Within the EU, there is no precedent for what happens when a metropolitan part of a current Member State becomes independent, so it is necessary to speculate.

"On the face of it, Scotland would be required to accede to the EU as a new state, which would require negotiations on the terms of its membership, including on the subjects of the UK's current opt-outs

"The EU treaties make no provision for succession to membership. Certain provisions of the EU treaties would require amendment."

READ: Scotland: A Nation Ready to Take Place on World Stage [BLOG]