Publishers join business leaders warning on Scottish independence

Publishers join business leaders warning on Scottish independence

Birlinn m.d. Hugh Andrew and Edinburgh University Press chief executive Timothy Wright are among the 133 business leaders in Scotland who have signed an open letter to The Scotsman newspaper warning that the business case for independence has not yet been made.

The letter has made news headlines on national press and broadcast media this morning (Wednesday 27th August).  

The signatories, who all put their names to the letter in a personal capacity, argue: "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."

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

Also signing the letter are the senior executives of HSBC, the Co-operative Bank, Baxters Food Group, The Scotch Whisky Association, and many others.

Publishers have expressed mixed views  on the forthcoming referendum, with Adrian Searle of Freight Books among those arguing that independence would bring a boost for the Scottish publishing industry.

Meanwhile booksellers have raised concerns over the impact of the introduction of VAT, should the terms of entry to the EU after independence require it.

Authors have also expressed diverse views, with Val McDermid among those backing a vote for independence, while J K Rowling has backed the Better Together campaign.