Business for Scotland has welcomed the First Minister’s call for independence supporters to “get on with the hard work” of making the case for independence, but seeks clarity on exactly what a soft Brexit will mean for Scotland.
BfS CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said:
“The Scottish Government needs to make it clear that a soft Brexit means membership of the single market, and it needs to define what extra powers need to be transferred to Holyrood to be classified as a soft Brexit.
“The First Minister is right to say that the Scottish Government, and the whole of Holyrood, should focus on getting the best outcome for Scotland and retaining single market membership, but sufficient clarity is needed on this before a decision on Scotland’s future can be put to the Scottish people.
“The Scottish Government should also call on the Labour party to back its Federalism plan and, of course, a special deal for Scotland in terms of single market membership must now be back on the table.”
Despite media reports to the contrary, the time frame for putting a decision on independence to the Scottish people has not changed, despite the current legislative process being extended to offer greater flexibility under changed circumstances post GE17.
MacIntyre-Kemp added: “We will continue to put forward the business case for Scottish independence, and will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Scottish Green Party, and indeed any other group who wishes to grow support for independence.
“The Scottish government has heeded calls from BfS in recent weeks to get on the front foot and make the case for independence; if there is a hard Brexit or a No deal scenario then Scotland needs a plan B, something the Better Together supporting parties ironically now seem strongly to wish us not to have.
“BfS will stay in campaign mode although we fully accept that the snap GE and the now potential option of a soft Brexit with Federal powers will make it more likely that the referendum option will be used later in this Scottish Parliament session
“It would, however, not surprise us if the Conservative DUP deal did not survive, thus initiating another General Election, and that an EU “no deal” will bring the need for a Scottish referendum into sharp focus.”