POLITICS
06/09/2013 06:31 BST | Updated 06/09/2013 09:10 BST

Scottish Independence Would Create 'Economic Dislocation', CBI President Sir Mike Rake Says

PA
CBI President Designate Sir Mike Rake at the business lobbying organisation headquarters in central London.

Scottish independence risks creating "economic dislocation" for British business, the new head of the CBI business lobbying group has warned.

In his first speech as the business body's president, BT chairman Sir Roger Carr said the group remained "unconvinced" about the advantages of Scotland becoming independent.

“The CBI is not convinced of the economic case for independence and has asked some important questions of the Scottish Government.” Sir Mike told business leaders at CBI Scotland's annual dinner in Glasgow.

"“The economic implications of independence published by the Treasury raised serious questions around the costs of independence, such as maintaining different cross-border tax, regulatory and legal systems, as well as and the significant issue of currency."

“What would be the implications of independence on our unified labour market, integrated infrastructure and our catalogue of well-honed business arrangements, and our position in the European Union?"

The business body boss's comments came as deputy prime minister Nick Clegg called on Scottish firms to "express their views" on the implications of Scottish independence.

“The future of devolution in Scotland must evolve in a way that enables your success too. This train is leaving the station – debate is under way,” he said.

“So now is the time for you to express your views, to shape that debate, to influence and shape a modern and successful Scotland within a strong United Kingdom.”

This comes as few Scottish business chiefs have openly spoken out against the prospect of independence, with many recent polls indicating they are firmly opposed.

Ian Powell, UK chief executive of PwC, said in July that the firm believed "in a United Kingdom" and suggested other firms could be avoiding speaking out in Scotland due to "fear".

As reported by the Huffington Post UK, Powell said: “We’ve got a Scottish business and it seems to us that quite a lot of Scottish businesses don’t seem to want to get engaged in the debate at the moment whether its for fear or whatever the specific reasons, I don't know.

“From a PwC perspective, we believe in a United Kingdom and we believe that the right thing is you do have as big an economic unit as you can.”

“We haven’t gone out in Scotland yet [and said that], but that’s what we think as an organisation."

According to a poll last December conducted by Ipsos MORI, 72% of businesses oppose Scotland's separation from the United Kingdom.