CBI chief John Cridland giving told the House of Lords yesterday that after
independence the UK single market would be fragmented
Scottish indepedence: Scottish independence risk to UK single market, says CBI
The chief of the CBI, John Cridland, has commented on Scotland's independence debate and forecasts that the UK single market would be fragmented if Scots vote for independence.
The CBI is not in favour of Scottish independence and according to Cridland, Scotland would require to make a choice between "more borrowing, more taxation or reductions in spending".
Although the CBI is a small organisation representing mostly large corporate interests outside Scotland it is nevertheless a somewhat influential business organisation. Mr Cridland expressed the opinion that there would be a fragmentation of Britain's single market describing this outcome as “inevitable”.
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It is not clear if the view taken by the CBI represents the views of its members. One member, Jim McColl, one of Scotland's most respected entrepreneurs is very favourable towards a 'Yes' vote in Scotland's independence referendum.
Justifying his constitutional position to the House of Lord Economic Committee, Mr Cridland said: “In our judgment there would be an economic loss. It is for that reason that we have taken the view that we can’t see an economic benefit. For that reason we favour the retention of the Union.”
Also giving evidence at the Committee was Simon Walker, director-general of the Institute of Directors, an organisation with a much broader membership said his organisation remained neutral on the issue, as there was division among his members on the merits of independence.
Scottish Times contacted Stuart Mackinnon of the Federation of Small Business (FSB) who said that "at this time the FSB doesn't give an opinion on constitutional matters." The FSB is Scotland's largest business organisation whose members employ the majority of Scotland's private sector workforce.
Contacted by Scottish Times, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
“It is simply inconceivable that the free trade of goods and services would not be maintained exactly as it is now after independence.
“With the latest Ernst and Young business survey showing Scotland continued to be the most attractive place in the UK to do business in 2011, it’s clear businesses are voting with their feet without concern over the prospect of independence.
“Rather than building barriers, independence boosts choices for Scotland, giving greater access to the most effective levers of growth – that is the key to building a prosperous future.”
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