Labour will launch its drive to keep the UK in the European Union today (TUES) as insiders insist it will not repeat the mistakes of the independence referendum.

Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, will kick off the party's push against a Brexit with a warning over national security.

But he will also emphasise that Labour will concentrate on its own campaign distinct from those organised by both David Cameron's government and the official 'remain' group.

Just months after it successfully secured Scotland's future within the UK, Scottish Labour suffered a humiliating defeat in the General Election.

The party lost 39 of its 40 MPs on a night that saw big names like former shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander tumble to newcomers like 20-year-old SNP activist Mhairi Black.

Labour has since struggled to recover north of the border and opinion polls suggest that the SNP is on course to win a landslide victory in May's Holyrood elections.

Labour sources say they have learnt significant lessons from the independence campaign, which left the party open to accusations it was too close to the Tories.

As well as a separate Labour push to stay in the EU, eurosceptic Labour MPs will free to speak out to explain why they want to leave.

The party realises that many of its traditional voters will vote to pull out, especially in parts of the north of England where Labour faces a significant challenge from Ukip.

Today Mr Johnson, widely seen as one of the most popular and down-to-earth of Labour’s former ministers, is expected to say that the first duty of any government is to keep the country safe.

“And I firmly believe that leaving the EU would fail that test," he will say.

“From the European Arrest Warrant to cross-border data sharing on terrorists, the speed of our response is vital.

"The lesson from Paris is clear: to tackle terrorism we must stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies in Europe.

"The security of Britain is inextricably linked to staying in Europe.”

He will also say Labour believes that the UK is best off working with others.

“With challenges like the refugee crisis, terrorism and Russian aggression on the EU’s borders, Britain is stronger when working with our allies, committed to peace, democracy and international law.

“When this vote comes, it will be a choice between staying in the European Union or leaving and Labour will defend the rights of working people, by campaigning to keep Britain in Europe.”

Labour sources also highlighted that Mr Johnson would be the only politician speaking at the launch.

He will be joined by the owner of a small business, a joiner and “a mum”, to explain why Labour backs staying in the EU.

The party is expected to focus on what it says are the financial benefits of remaining in the EU, including protection for workers and jobs, as well as the UK’s influence in the world.

There was a major row within the party earlier this year when leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested Labour could back a Brexit.

The shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray was among those who suggested he could quit if the party supported withdrawal.

But the Labour In For Britain campaign has signed up the support of 213 Labour MPs, including Mr Corbyn and the entire Shadow Cabinet.