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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fleeing Salmond's sinking ship

The wheels are starting to come off Alex Salmond's independence bandwagon. Earlier this week I blogged that Brussels is likely to enforce higher VAT levels on an independent Scotland whilst the UK Government's will insist that an independent Scotland will not be allowed to retain the pound. There are also doubts being cast by the EU President that Scotland may not even be allowed to join the European Union.

Now the Telegraph is reporting that Standard Life has become the first large Scottish company to warn it may move part of its multi-billion pound operations to England if there is a vote for independence this year.

RBS has also warned that uncertainty over the referendum is damaging its business and a vote for separation would be “likely to significantly impact the Group’s credit ratings”. A view expressed this morning by one economist is that an independent Scotland will also lose RBS, simply because a central Scottish bank would not be big enough to guarantee deposits in a bank of that size.

Standard Life, which is described by the Telegraph as a  pensions, savings and insurance giant, has said that it is drawing up contingency plans to shift operations and personnel from its Edinburgh headquarters as a “precautionary measure to ensure continuity of our businesses’ competitive position. It believes that the planning is necessary to protect customers and shareholders and that this could involve moving its headquarters from Edinburgh to London.

It seems that Scotland 'going it alone' could mean literally that.
So that's what Liberal Democracy means ?

The future of the People of Scotland being dictated to buy Westminster and Brussels bullying and by threats of Standard Life upping sticks.

If this is the sort of Union you support then Scotland and Wales will be out of it.

It would only be a 'threat' if Standard Life had a choice.

If you look at their statement, it's clear that remaining in an independent Scotland would make no sense for their business: most of their customers are in England, and they would have to be a foreign-registered company on the London Stock Exchange (as Scotland doesn't have a stock exchange).

This is like saying a goldfish is making a 'threat' to die if you boil the water it its bowl: it's not a threat, simply a statement that what you're proposing would make its continued life in that environment impossible, so it would have to move or die.

(I suppose Standard Life could take the hit and stay in an independent Scotland even though that makes no business sense and suffer the consequences, but Standard Life's moral obligations are to its customers, 90% of whom are outside Scotland, not to an independent Scotland).
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