UK

Sir Richard Branson Joins Growing Chorus Of Voices Against Scottish Independence

12/09/2014 18:24 BST | Updated 12/09/2014 18:59 BST

Sir Richard Branson has weighed into the referendum debate, saying it is "imperative" Scotland remains part of the union. The Virgin boss, whose wife is from Glasgow, said he would "love" to see Scotland stay part of the UK. He said: "As a businessman, considering Scotland's economy, prosperity and security, I think it is imperative it stays in the union."

He added: "It is clear that the people of Scotland want change. And whatever the outcome of the referendum, change is on the cards. If the vote stays as close as the polls suggest, there won't be a mandate to separate, or to keep the union exactly as it is. Keeping the status quo is no longer an option and the Scottish Parliament needs greater powers."

Sir Richard's intervention follows a number of major employers speaking out in favour of Scotland staying in the UK. It also follows on from a series of Scottish banks, including Lloyds, RBS, Clydesdale Bank and Tesco Bank, confirming plans to relocate their headquarters to England if Scotland votes to leave the UK.

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Brason: 'It is "imperative" Scotland remains part of the union'

Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said: "We welcome this announcement from Sir Richard Branson. He may not have a vote in the referendum, but he has a voice, and he is using it to say that Scotland's future is brighter as part of the UK.

"It is significant that the UK's most recognisable business leader has looked at separation and decided it's a bad deal. Richard Branson has also made clear that saying No Thanks does not mean no change. He has identified that change is coming to Scotland, but we do not need to take on the risks of independence - like the pound, pensions or the funding for our NHS.

"Why would we take on all of those risks when faster, better, safer change is coming? We can have what the majority of Scots want - more powers for Scotland without the risks of independence. It's the best of both worlds. We should say No Thanks to separation on 18 September."

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