Scottish economy not strong enough for independence, say Institute of Directors members

The majority of Scotland’s business leaders are against independence, believing that the nation is not financially strong to thrive on its own.

Malcolm Cannon, national director of IoD Scotland, speaks at the groups annual conference. Picture: Ian Fleming

In a survey of members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland, 73 per cent felt that the Scottish economy lacks the required strength to support the case for independence.

However, reassuringly, more than seven in ten (71 per cent) of directors announced plans to hire additional staff over the next 12 months, despite ongoing political uncertainty.

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The questions were posed by The Scotsman as the IoD Scotland held its annual conference in Gleneagles yesterday.

National director Malcolm Cannon: 'There is no doubt that external political forces will continue to provide challenges'. Picture: Susie Lowe

National director Malcolm Cannon said: "There is no doubt that external political forces will continue to provide challenges that will impact business success. From a survey of our members, there is concern that the Scottish economy is not currently strong enough to support the case for Scottish independence.

"Given the promises planted during the initial Brexit referendum three years ago, business leaders have learnt to take nothing for granted. As the question of independence in Scotland is raised again, it is vital that leaders up and down the country take a holistic approach and truly consider every eventuality that may play out.

“Ultimately, it will be people that create change within organisations and enact success as a result. While we still cannot predict how a general election or how Brexit will play out, leaders must surround themselves with great people with the right skills. In doing so, Scotland will benefit hugely.”

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Aidan OCarroll, Institute of Director Scotland chair, speaks at the 2019 conference. Picture: Ian Fleming