George Kerevan (Perspective, 30 April) ignored global business realities when he wrote that a Yes vote will save us from the economic domination of the City and “allow a Scottish Government to frame fiscal rules that favour industrial research and long-term risk-taking”.
Like the takeover of Scottish microelectronics company Wolfson by Cirrus, the reality is that there is no defence if an overseas company with oodles of cash (in hand or as debt) wants to buy up another company.
All it takes is the majority of shareholders to agree to the deal, unless there is a government ring-fence on the grounds of national security or other water-tight reason.
Thus Pfizer stalks AstraZeneca, and the UK Chancellor tries to put the best face on this by asserting that this preserves key aspects of the UK’s success in biosciences.
France’s Alstom will be taken over by either Germany’s Siemens or the US’s General Electric; no government block there.
Furthermore, Holyrood can frame what fiscal rules it likes including always undercutting rUK’s corporate tax rate, but other countries already have even lower corporate tax rates – hence Ireland is a haven for US companies avoiding heavy US taxation using the “Double Irish” system.
Let’s hear what fiscal rules Holyrood can actually introduce to our advantage.