Prime Minister David Cameron has urged against a Yes vote in next month’s referendum on Scottish independence, suggesting it could hit financial services firms north of the border.
At a speech at the Confederation of British Industry Scotland conference this evening, Cameron will say 90 per cent of those using Scotland’s financial services firms live elsewhere in the UK.
He will say: “This is one of the oldest and most successful single markets in the world. Scotland does twice as much trade with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world put together.
“For some industries, the proportion of trade with the rest of the UK is even higher – 90 per cent of Scottish financial services’ customers are in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“This success doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because of the skill of people in Scotland and the opportunities that come from being part of something bigger, a large domestic market, underpinned by a common currency, common taxes, common rules and regulations with no borders, no transaction costs, no restrictions on the flow of goods, investment or people. Our’s really is an economy of opportunity.”
Last month, Money Marketing reported how uncertainty around whether UK financial products will be supported in an independent Scotland could force Scottish-based platforms to register their companies elsewhere.
Cameron’s speech comes as 200 Scottish business leaders signed a joint letter backing independence. Yesterday, another 130 published their own letter saying the economic case for breaking up the union had not been made.
Much of the controversy has been over what currency an Independent Scotland would use.
Better Together leader and former chancellor Alistair Darling has been calling on Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond to set out a plan B, which the country could turn to as a substitute for a full sterling currency union.
In a televised debate on Monday night, Salmond said “three plan Bs” have already been set out by the independent Fiscal Commission including sharing the pound without a formal currency union and setting up a new currency.