Economy, Business And Markets

Business Row Marks Scotland Weekend Campaign

Business Row Marks Scotland Weekend Campaign
Business Row Marks Scotland Weekend Campaign

A row over the intervention of business leaders and banks in the Scottish independence debate has intensified on the final weekend of campaigning.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the Scots would not be “bullied” by oil companies, supermarkets or London.

It comes as chief economist at Deutsche Bank David Folkerts-Landau said voters and politicians had failed to grasp the negative consequences of independence.

Meanwhile, a Guardian/ICM poll put the “No” vote at 51%, with “Yes” on 49%.

On Thursday evening a YouGov opinion poll was published suggesting that the “No” campaign was leading by 52% to 48%, once undecided voters were excluded.

The Yes Scotland campaign claims that over the weekend there will be more than 35,000 volunteers at 473 registered street stalls trying to persuade people to vote for independence. They say that 2.6 million “Yes” leaflets will be delivered in 48 hours.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “The ‘Yes’ campaign has been carried along by a flourishing of self-confidence among people in Scotland.

“That momentum is still growing and will soon become unstoppable, as people reject the Downing Street-orchestrated campaign to talk Scotland down.

“Today thousands of Yes supporters from communities across Scotland will be running the biggest campaign day of action Scotland’s ever seen.”

The bosses of three retail groups have put their names to a letter in the Daily Record, in which they claimed their costs would rise in an independent Scotland and they would have to take “the difficult decision” whether or not to pass those on to consumers.

The letter, signed by the heads of Marks and Spencer, B&Q owner Kingfisher and Timpsons, read: “Within our group there is first-hand experience of trading across national borders – in France, Ireland and across the world.

“Our experience is that it always leads to more red tape and higher costs.”

However Tim Martin, the boss of pub chain JD Wetherspoon, said on Friday: “Scotland could do very well on its own”.

Ahead of the final weekend of the campaign, Mr Salmond has renewed his complaint that the Treasury broke ministerial rules when it confirmed to journalists that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) planned to relocate its registered headquarters from Edinburgh to London in the event of a “Yes” vote.

He has written to Sir Jeremy Heywood, the UK’s most senior civil servant, asking “which minister or official authorised the release [of the information about RBS]” and “at what time the information was released”.