Economics of Independence

Business for Scotland present evidence to the Scottish Parliament Economy Committee

Scottish parliamentToday Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, Chief Executive of Business for Scotland will present research to the Economy Committee at the Scottish Parliament regarding the prosperity of an independent Scotland.

The session begins at 10.30am and also includes Marie Macklin of Klin Group, Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers and Dan Macdonald of MacDonald Estates.

The evidence session can be viewed live on Democracy Live as it takes place from 10.30am.

Business for Scotland submission

The Economy Committee is currently conducting an enquiry into Scotland’s Economic Future Post-2014. This has involved taking evidence from a range of sources concerning the economic opportunities of independence and challenges ahead.

Business for Scotland provided evidence in three key areas: Scotland’s current position of economic strength; the substantial cost to Scotland as a result of UK debt repayments; and Scotland’s position as a leading global exporter.

The submission was published in full on the Business for Scotland website.

Summary of evidence

It can be summerised as follows:

111) Scotland has a rich and diverse economy. This includes multi-billion pound sectors ranging from construction, tourism, manufacturing, life sciences, financial services, research and development, the creative industries, energy, fishing and agriculture.

2) An independent Scotland will prioritise the interests of business in Scotland following decades of Westminster prioritising the distinctive interests of London and the South East. This includes the opportunity to create a simpler tax system that supports Scottish business; reforming the labour market to improve employer/employee relations; encouraging migration to Scotland to balance Scotland’s unique demographic needs; and supporting Scottish exports globally through a Scottish diplomatic and trade service.

3) Business for Scotland research using historical GERS figures has proven that Scotland has paid over £64 billion of unnecessary UK debt interest repayments over 32 years. Had Scotland been run as an independent country over the period, it
would currently have a substantial fiscal surplus and not have been in debt.

4) Recent figures from the Global Connections Survey demonstrate that Scotland is one of the world’s top exporting nations. This strong trading position is another key indicator of the ability of Scotland to be a successful and wealth independent nation. Scotland’s exports were worth nearly £100 billion in 2012 alone.

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About the author

Michael Gray

Michael is Head of Research with Business for Scotland.

A graduate from the University of Glasgow, he has carried out a series of interviews with academics, politicians and the public in Denmark, Iceland and Ireland. Michael's on twitter @GrayInGlasgow.


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