Scottish independence: Tory businessman backs Yes

David Cameron, left, with Laurie Clark. Picture: Complimentary
David Cameron, left, with Laurie Clark. Picture: Complimentary
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A PROMINENT Conservative Party donor and businessman has told David Cameron he will be voting Yes in next year’s referendum on Scottish Independence.

Laurie Clark, the owner and managing director of Paisley-based firm Anglo-Scottish Concrete told Prime Minister David Cameron at a meeting at Loch Lomond today that he would be backing a Yes vote next September to kickstart the ‘beginning of a fairer and mutually beneficial partnership between Scotland and the rest of the UK’.

Mr Clark, who has recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of the pro-independence business network Business for Scotland, added: “Independence represents the best of both worlds whereby we maintain many of the unions between Scotland and the rest of the UK, including the union of the crowns and the trade unions but lose the out of date political union.

“The referendum is not a choice between Scottish and British identity. Instead, for me, it is about how best we realise the potential of Scotland, create wealth and jobs, expand the private sector and reform the public sector in the interests of the nation as a whole.”

Mr Clark was among a number of party members invited to join the prime minister at a private drinks reception, and said he felt that the No campaign was being ‘held back by the fact that Conservative values in Scotland are different to those promoted from London.’

He warned: “There is a natural electoral base for right-of-centre perspectives in Scotland but an unbalanced political discourse which, no matter where you are on the political spectrum, is unhealthy for the future direction of Scotland.”

The 51-year-old businessman stressed that he felt independence was the right option for both Scotland and the UK, and that the country’s economy would be boosted by voting Yes.

Mr Clark added: “Independence allows us the opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper. We could and should be attracting much more substantial business, investment and jobs with fiscal solutions and broader public policy tailored to the distinctive Scottish economic environment.

“I simply think that after a Yes vote, it is much more likely to strike a healthy balance between, on the one hand, the need to stimulate private sector and economic growth and, on the other hand, the need to care for those in need, address inequality and boost productivity.”