A leading independence-supporting businessman has claimed Nicola Sturgeon does not have the support of the business community in the way Alex Salmond did.
Gordon McIntyre-Kemp of Business for Scotland has criticised the Scottish Government’s approach to business and says more must be done to bring small and medium businesses on side if the SNP is to win a second independence referendum.
Writing in the National, Mr McIntyre-Kemp said Ms Sturgeon’s post Brexit announcement of another referendum should have been accompanied with an economic plan on how to make the most of EU withdrawal.
He said: “Months later, the SNP still seem miles away from getting the message on business and the economy right with the powers they have, never mind the powers they crave.
“Even the most ardent of Sturgeon fans will have to admit that she doesn’t carry the business community with her in the way Alex Salmond did.
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“It might be unfair to suggest she could, her natural strengths being on the social policy side and especially on youth, fairness and gender equality – but no-one is talking about Sturgeonomics. There is, as of yet, no such thing.
“If she is to win an independence referendum the FM needs to increase her Government’s approval ratings on day-to-day performance. She needs to also bring the business community more on side. Not big business, they will never come on side. Talking to the CBI is whistling in the wind – they are wed to Westminster’s centralised, Unionist and corporate hegemony.
“Small to medium sized business owners, the real backbone of Scotland’s economy, were onside but the Scottish Government is running the risk of losing them.”
Mr McIntyre-Kemp added: “The opportunity the Scottish Government has to act now and to be the only party with a winning vision, a solid and credible route to prosperity in the Brexit era, is akin to a striker staring at an open goal and refusing to shoot.”