The Blog

The SNP Say They Will Be a Business Friendly Government - I See Independence As a Threat to the Business Community

In the light of George Osbourne's ruling out a currency union with Scotland should the SNP win a yes vote on 18 September, the SNP's plan to share the pound is all the more uncertain. What is clear is that this divorce will not be an amicable one.

As a business owner, Iike the SNP I want to keep the pound, however, unlike the SNP, I believe that what is best for Scotland is to remain as part of the union and not divorce ourselves from the rest of the UK at a time when we need stability, security and growth in our economy. It is clear from the Chancellor's announcement on Thursday that if Scotland does vote for independence we will lose the power of the Union to provide these securities.

What does the pound mean to me as a business owner? The loss of the pound means an increase in my overheads as I will have to trade in two currency systems. There will be increased postal costs, accountancy costs and solicitor fees as we will be working within two different legal and tax systems. In reply to those people who like to point out that many companies in Scotland already trade and do business with countries abroad I would say that those companies have made a decision to do that and they will have factored in those extra costs when they did that. By voting for independence we will be forcing thousands of companies who have not made the choice to export to a foreign country do just that.

Having spoken to a number of companies in both Northern and Southern Ireland they have confirmed to me the daily complications and costs of having to trade and do business across a boarder. Not scaremongering just facts.

While retaining the pound as Scotland's currency is important to me, even if Alex Salmond were to get his currency union, we would be financially constrained by the bank of England which will be 90% owned by the UK government. This would mean we would have less control over Scotland's financial sovereignty than we do today. In what way would we therefore be independent?

As we are often accused of scare mongering and being negative I would like to point out that there are a number of reasons why being part of the union is good for my business. I have four integrated, profitable markets that act as one that I can easily trade and do business with. I can brand my products as Scottish or British depending on the customers I am supplying. I am doing business in one of the most prosperous nations in the world which gives us stability, that as a small and newly independent country we will not have.

Finally and arguably most importantly to my business is that as part of the union I have unrestricted access to 60million customers in the UK. As Scottish firms sell twice as much to the rest of the UK as we do to the rest of the world combined it is easy to see why cutting ourselves off from our largest customer market seriously concerns me.

While the SNP claim that they will be a business friendly government I see independence as a threat to the business community and believe it will stunt entrepreneurship and business growth, something which Scotland excels in. What I need as a business owner in order to continue to grow my business, offer jobs to others and pay in to the UK economy is stability, security and growth. We have to make Scotland a country where it is easy to do business and continue our great history of innovation, entrepreneurship and business.