Vince Cable: Benefits of Union are taken for granted by business leaders
BUSINESS leaders will back Scotland staying in the UK as the benefits that are “taken for granted” become clear, Business Secretary Vince Cable claims.
The Liberal Democrat Cabinet member also warned that the “uncertainty” being created by the independence debate would not help the flatlining economy to recover.
“There an awful lot of things that are currently taken for granted which Scotland benefits from as part of the Union,” Mr Cable said on a visit to Edinburgh yesterday.
“For example, in business infrastructure – things like Companies House, intellectual property, the insolvency service and specific services like the Royal Mail and Post Office and universal service obligations that goes with it. These are things we take for granted.
“Also, we have the research funding of universities through my department, and Scotland does disproportionately well. That’s because Scottish universities do very well. They are there on merit, nonethless they benefit considerably from the relationship.
“When all these things are spelled out and the costs are clearly understood, the business community will be pretty unambiguous in the way it points.”
The Lib Dem minister said the controversies surrounding the banking sector and eurozone were contributing to a turbulent business environment and the constitutional argument in Scotland is adding “another level of uncertainty”.
“Who will be responsible for trade negotiations?” he asked. “An awful lot of things are made in Scotland – whisky is a good example. The export industry depends particularly on an ability to negotiate good trade relations, not just within in Europe but with China, India and Brazil and so on.”
But Nationalist back-bencher Paul Wheelhouse insisted the Lib Dems, along with the other pro-Union parties “offer nothing” to Scotland.
“They don’t understand or care about what the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want – the big decisions affecting this country to be made here in Scotland,” he said.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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