Business leaders to warn SNP against holding indyref2 vote

Michael Russell to discuss EU with Glasgows business leaders. Picture: Contributed

Michael Russell to discuss EU with Glasgows business leaders. Picture: Contributed

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Scotland’s Brexit minister Michael Russell will this week be warned against holding another independence referendum when he meets prominent business figures to discuss EU withdrawal.

On Thursday he will meet representatives of Glasgow City Council, the Glasgow Economic Leadership board, and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Ahead of the meeting, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “We simply don’t know what the outcome of Brexit is going to be. You wake up every morning with a different set of signals about where it might go. We can all add up the equations and say ‘That doesn’t look very likely’ or ‘That does’ and then it changes within a week.

“People are working out the worst-case scenario and trying to work out how to plan accordingly. So I think throwing in a second independence referendum on top of that would lead to a lot more head-scratching.”

Patrick added: “We are in one of the most confusing positions for making long-term plans that we have ever been in, certainly in my working life. I think the enthusiasm for any second referendum will be severely limited until we have some idea of what the position is that we are faced with.”

The Glasgow organisations will also raise concerns that Brexit is impairing their ability to attract talent from abroad and argue for a distinctive Scottish immigration system. Patrick said he wanted to look at “differential” positions on immigration.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Brexit is the biggest threat to Scotland’s jobs, prosperity and economy. Any move to limit migration, whether from within or beyond the EU, has the potential to seriously harm our economy, so we share this concern.”

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