Nicola Sturgeon should 'build' on relationship with London
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Britons forecast a gloomy prospect to an independent Scotland’s economy, noting that if it were to vote to leave, Scotland would have to shoulder its share of the national debt. It comes as one major defence company said it may move its operations to England if Scotland were to leave the union.
The CEO of Babcock, one of Britain’s largest defence and services providers, suggested his company could move to England in a matter of years.
Asked about Scottish independence, David Lockwood said: “I lived in Scotland for ten years and it was a rumbling thing then and I think it’s just going to be a rumbling thing.
“I think in reality there will be plenty of warning if the vote were in favour of independence.
“There would then be a negotiation period and at the end of the negotiation period, there would be an implementation period.
“So I don’t think there is anything that we can’t manage as a company.”
But, he added that if “we were told we weren’t welcome here – which I think would be a bad mistake for Scotland”, then they could replicate their operations in England “in three years”.
Mr Lockwood commented: “It’s not ideal but it is manageable.”
Stewart McDonald, SNP defence spokesperson, said it is important to note independence was described as manageable for Babcock but it would only leave if made to feel unwelcome.
Mr McDonald said: “Babcock is not just an important employer, but would play a crucial role in an independent Scotland’s defence capability.
“Not just welcome, but vital.
“Scotland’s defence industry is a well-established part of our economy, and it’s vital that we can show that the future of that industry has a place here with independence.
“It’s not just the right thing to do for people’s jobs, but for our own defence and security posture too.”
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Reacting to the news on Express.co.uk, reader “Beehive” commented: “Sturgeon will take Scotland down unless we do something about it.”
Newyorklady said: “They need to start moving now so it’s all done before she gets her referendum.”
Another user said that Scots were “on your knees” because of the SNP.
They added: “If you can’t make ends meet now with the extra cash from the UK, Scotland is doomed.
“Kid yourself all you want just don’t come back with a begging bowl when it all goes wrong, which it will.”
Similarly, StanParker said: “Let them go and then they will soon realise their mistake!”
And “mikejbroadway” wrote: “When they reap the whirlwind they will have only themselves to blame. Their leader must take some of the blame as well.”
Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she is “determined” to hold a second referendum on independence by the end of next year.
Speaking to the BBC last month, the Scottish First Minister said: “The preparatory work is underway right now – but we haven’t decided on the date when we would seek to introduce the bill.
“What I have said, and I will happily say again, is that my intention is to take the steps that will facilitate a referendum happening before the end of 2023.
“That’s the proposition, just short of a year ago, I fought an election on and was re-elected as First Minister.
“This is about democracy. It’s about allowing the people of Scotland to choose our own future.”
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