No business case for independence

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The outcome of the referendum on 18 September will affect our generation and the generations to come.

Much is at stake. Our economic ties inside the United Kingdom are very close and support almost one million Scottish jobs.

The rest of the UK is Scotland’s biggest market by far. As job creators, we have looked carefully at the arguments made by both sides of the debate. Our conclusion is that the business case for independence has not been made.

Uncertainty surrounds a number of vital issues including currency, regulation, 
tax, pensions, EU membership and support for our exports around the world; and uncertainty is bad for business.

Today Scotland’s economy is growing. We are attracting record investment and the employment rate is high.

We should be proud that Scotland is a great place to build businesses and create jobs – success that has been achieved as an integral part of the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom gives business the strong platform we must have to invest in industry. By all continuing to work together, we can keep Scotland flourishing.

AUDREY BAXTER

Executive chairman, Baxters Food Group

NIALL BOOKER

Chief executive officer, the Co-operative Bank

ANGUS COCKBURN

Interim chief executive, Aggreko plc

IAN CURLE

Chief executive, Edrington

GERARD EADIE

Chairman, CR Smith

DOUGLAS FLINT

Group chairman, HSBC Holdings plc

HAMISH GROSSART

Chairman, Artemis Investment Management

GAVIN HEWITT

Former chief executive, The Scotch Whisky Association

JOHN LANGLANDS

Chief executive, British Polythene Industries PLC

ANGUS MacSWEEN

Chief executive, Iomart Group

CAMERON McLATCHIE

Chairman, British Polythene Industries PLC

IAN MARCHANT

Energy businessman

IAIN NAPIER

Chairman, John Menzies plc

PETER PAGE

Chief executive, Devro plc

ALASTAIR SALVESEN

Chairman, Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd

PETER SHAKESHAFT

Business adviser

SIR BRIAN STEWART

Former chairman of Standard Life, Scottish & Newcastle and the Miller Group

PETER TAYLOR

Chairman, the Town House Collection

MARCUS TIEFENBRUN

Chairman, Castle Precision Engineering Ltd

See the full list of signatories here

Against medical advice I watched the BBC independence debate on Monday night. One slightly baffling aspect was that Alistair Darling spoke several times of “we” when it was not clear whether he spoke as the Scottish No leader, as a Labour Party member, or as a Westminster MP.

Equally, Alex Salmond switched between First Minister of Scotland when he spoke of oil as a blessing, leader of the SNP when he proposed to dump the bedroom tax, and as a Scottish statesman when he wished to adopt the pound as being the proposal most reasonable for all parts of the UK.

He played the statesman when he offered Darling (who even smiled at it) a role in the future negotiations.

However, neither made clear the very simple idea that the normal process of tax collection, national insurance and pensions etc would continue within an independent Scotland without a cut remaining in the Treasury to pay for war and pomp. This is important to an old age pensioner such as myself.

IAIN WD FORDE

Main Street, Scotlandwell

Kinross-shire

I AM looking forward to 19 September, when we will no longer have to listen to the constantly regurgitated conjecture from both sides of the independence referendum campaign.

For the past two years, the electorate in Scotland has been bombarded with sound bites about the economy, oil, health and welfare services as well as the currency that an independent Scotland may adopt. This has led many people to search for “the truth” and definitive answers to their questions before they can make an informed decision as to which side they will vote for.

In my opinion, this referendum is about voting for who should have control over Scotland’s affairs.

If you would like politicians, elected solely by the Scottish electorate, to have full control, then vote for the Yes campaign; if you would prefer to see politicians elected by the UK electorate, who can decide at any time to reduce the funding from Westminster that comes Scotland’s way, then vote for the Better Together campaign.

No matter what has been said over the course of this campaign, nobody from either side can state with any accuracy what the economy will look like in the future, how much oil is left in the North Sea, or how much money will be available for funding public services; all of this applies whether we are governed by Holyrood or Westminster.

As for the currency, this is very much a red herring. If Scotland can command the highest possible credit rating, does it really matter which currency is adopted?

We must also bear in mind that a vote in favour of an independent Scotland is not an endorsement of Alex Salmond, or the SNP. After the referendum, the Holyrood election in 2016 will determine who governs Scotland.

Michael Horsburgh

Swanston Muir

Edinburgh