Tom Hunter backs 2014 for referendum
As one of Scotland leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists Sir Tom Hunter's recent article in the Sunday Times is a very welcome contibution to the debate over the timetabling of the independence referendum. Sir Tom makes an eloquent case for a full and proper debate on the question of independence - and backs autumn 2014 as the right time for the poll.
The case for autumn 2014 is succinctly and powerfully put in the Scottish Government consultation ‘Your Scotland, Your Referendum’: “simple good sense, and a respect for due process, all point to the autumn of 2014 as being the right time for the referendum”.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Sir Tom notes: “Many now seem to be arguing that we need the vote before 2014. Why? We have only lightly touched the edges of the debates we need for our country’s future; do they really want to compress that debate for political expediency. A speedy referendum might suit some, but it certainly does not suit democracy”.
There is in fact a hatful of other arguments in favour of the autumn 2014 date:
- it allows for proper consideration of more than 20,000 responses to the referendum consultation;
- it gives time for proper testing of the proposed question;
- it allows full and thorough consideration of the Referendum Bill by the Scottish Parliament;
- and, it avoids a clash with major events in 2014 including the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.
These are all good arguments. But the most powerful is, as Sir Tom explains, quite simply the fact that this is a hugely important debate – “a vote that will determine the future of our great nation”.
The rest of the UK economy will continue to thrive after Scotland votes for independence, a survey of City of London executives has found.
The Bank of Scotland’s quarterly Business Monitor report has shown Scottish firms recording the biggest increase in turnover since before the 2007/08 recession. In the three months to August, 45% of firms surveyed increased turnover, while 22% experienced a decrease with the remainder showing no change.
UK Government figures published today by UK Trade and Investment confirm that Scotland continues to prove a very attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). The Inward Investment Report 2012/13 welcomes "a record number of projects and jobs secured for Scotland".
The good news follows upon the recent Ernst and Young Attractiveness Survey which also reflected a remarkable FDI performance in 2012.
The potential to generate a healthy independent economy is not just a romantic ideal, writes Alasdair Reid in today's Scotsman