More than a third of big businesses in Scotland would consider leaving the country if it votes for independence in September.
The figures published in the Mail on Sunday show that 38.6 percent of major firms would consider relocating outside the country, while a third of smaller firms would also consider leaving. More than three quarters of businesses said it was important that Scotland keep the pound. 44 percent of all firms said independence would harm their prospects.
This is the latest in a series of economic blows for Alex Salmond’s independence campaign. Standard Life, one of the biggest firms in Scotland, said it may relocate to England, while Alliance Trust has said it has already begun setting up businesses registered in England.
Lloyds bank and Royal Bank of Scotland may also have to move their legal homes to England in order to comply with EU directives.
As well as businesses threatening a “tartan exodus”, the UK’s three main parties have all ruled out a formal currency union with an independent Scotland; something many Scottish businesses say is essential to keeping them in the country.
Alistair Darling, head of the ‘Better Together’ campaign and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, told the Mail: “Alex Salmond has turned the referendum ballot paper into a betting slip. Without the most basic economic fact – what money we would use – voters will have to decide whether they are prepared to take a leap in the dark.”
Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, added: “These results are another hammer blow to the credibility of the SNP.
“They clearly show that job numbers and prosperity in Scotland will suffer in the event of a Yes vote. A vote for Yes will see large numbers of businesses planning to leave Scotland.”