Sturgeon humiliated! Indy dreams dealt major blow as UK giant threatens England move
Nicola Sturgeon should 'build' on relationship with London
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With Ms Sturgeon pushing for a second independence referendum as early as 2024, any instability now or in the future could dissuade investors to the region. Large national companies already enjoy established businesses in Scotland, employing many thousands in the process, although some have become concerned about the ramifications of Scotland breaking away.
The CEO of Babcock, one of Britain’s largest defence and services providers, has now suggested a move to England could be on the cards.
David Lockwood said of Scottish independence: “I lived in Scotland for 10 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.
“When you look at the timelines, there’s nothing we can’t manage as a company.”
But warning of a post-independence environment should Scotland vote yes in a referendum, Mr Lockwood, speaking to The Courier added: “If we had to replicate this in England because we were told we weren’t welcome here – which I think would be a bad mistake for Scotland – but if that were the decision, we can replicate this in three years, and the time window of negotiations is longer.
“It’s not ideal but it is manageable.”
Speaking of the notion other companies may find it difficult to invest north, Mr Lockwood said: “As someone who lived here 10 years and loves the place, I do think there are signs it can affect, the tone of the debate, inward investment from England to Scotland and other areas.
“I think if you are already here it is manageable.
“But I think it is a slightly different question if you weren’t here, does it affect your decision?
“I am aware of people who are… it is a question they ask when they are making a decision where to base themselves.”
SNP defence spokesman Stewart McDonald 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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Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “If Scotland chose to leave the UK, we would be choosing to no longer be eligible for contracts where national security is a factor, such as warships.
“Therefore it would be inevitable that large shipbuilding companies would have to relocate.
“And it should be remembered that the SNP wanted Scotland to leave the UK a mere 18 months after the referendum vote.
“Thankfully we voted to remain in the UK.”
COULD SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE SPELL DISASTER FOR THE SCOTTISH ECONOMY, SHOULD NICOLA STURGEON PUSH FOR INDEPENDENCE? IS BABCOCK RIGHT IN CONSIDERING A MOVE TO ENGLAND SHOULD SCOTLAND VOTE LEAVE? JOIN THE DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION BY CLICKING HERE! EVERY VOICE MATTERS!
Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “determined” that Scots will be able to vote at a second referendum on independence by the end of next year.
Speaking to the BBC last month, Ms Sturgeon 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.”
The 2014 Indyref saw 55 percent of Scots choose to remain in the UK.
Current polls show the opinion has reversed, with the majority now wishing to seek independence following the departure from the European Union.
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