SNP ‘tactics paid for by South East of England’ says expert
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CEO of Scottish Business UK Struan Stevenson spoke to Express.co.uk and explained the hypocrisy behind the SNP claiming they are “ignored by Westminster” despite receiving many benefits that other UK countries do not have. He added free care and tuition were among a long list of policies funded by English taxpayers which are used to then promote independence. Mr Stevenson has also penned an open letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her not to focus on independence which has been signed by hundreds of Scottish companies.
Ms Sturgeon wrote in the Sunday Mail in 2019: “The UK Parliament has not worked in Scotland’s national interest for a very long time, if indeed it ever did.”
The SNP leader was writing in response to a no-deal Brexit scenario and have been a long critic of Westminster dabbling in Scottish affairs.
She revealed before the May Scottish parliament election that she would push ahead with a Scottish independence referendum without the approval of Westminster.
Mr Stevenson spoke to Express.co.uk about Ms Sturgeon’s comments and position against the UK.
He said: “All the time we hear the SNP complaining and pointing the accusatory finger at England saying ‘that’s the magnet that sucks in all the inward investment that’s where all the money is being made’
“And saying we are the poor relatives up north of the border that we get no attention paid to us.
“What they forget is, you know I’ve got a son working in London.
“It’s people like him and the millions of others who pay tax that helps us to meet all the freebies that the SNP have continued to offer.
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“Free care for the elderly, free prescriptions, free university tuition, now manifesto pledges at the last Holyrood election for free laptops for every school child.
“Free bicycles for children in areas of multiple deprivations.
“I mean, down in England or indeed in Wales or Northern Ireland, they don’t get these things.
“But these vote-buying tactics of the SNP are paid for by tax coming from the southeast of England and instead of thanking them the SNP actually build up their grudging grievance system.
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“Shouting this is why the union is broken because the south-east gets all the best and we got all the worst.
“It takes a long pause where you have to think carefully about what independence means and that’s where the business community really are in fear of what it would mean.”
Mr Stevenson also told Express.co.uk that the SNP’s desire to rejoin the EU would be severely damaging for the Scottish economy as they would require a central bank.
The trade body leader explained a central bank would mean Scotland would require its own currency which economists have predicted would be 20 percent weaker than the pound.
The alternatives are to either adopt the Euro or to keep the Pound Sterling, the latter of which means they would need to borrow from the Bank of England on agreed terms.
In any case, Mr Stevenson said the uncertainty surrounding the decision is a “disaster” for Scottish businesses and feared many would simply move several miles south to operate in England.
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