Scottish brokers surprised and disappointed at latest independence push

Ryan Bembridge

March 14, 2017

Scottish mortgage brokers are surprised and disappointed that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is attempting to secure an independence referendum so soon after the last one.

Yesterday the Scottish National Party’s Sturgeon said she will imminently look to legislate for a second referendum, setting a timetable between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

In the 2014 independence vote Scotland voted to remain in the UK by 55% to 45%.

Ian McGrail, director of Edinburgh-based brokerage First Mortgage, said: “I’m a bit disappointed with the timing off it – I don’t think it’s a considered move from the public’s point of view.

“The frustration for us is we’re looking to expand down South to other offices around the UK.

“It created a nasty division last time and that’s what the SNP is trying to play off.”

Harry McGeough, director of Glasgow-based Mortgage Force, said: “It was a bit of a surprise. I don’t think people saw it coming so soon.

“It’s something the SNP seems hell bent on going ahead on but I still think a number of people are suffering from political fatigue, where voters are tired of elections.”

He stressed that things are still up in the air, as Prime Minister Theresa May hasn’t yet commented on whether she will consent to a referendum while Brexit negotiations are going on.

It’s also unclear what kind of Brexit deal the UK will have on the table in a couple of years’ time.

Mark Dyason, mortgage & protection adviser at Edinburgh Mortgage Advice, accused the SNP of gunning for independence any time they have an excuse.

He said: “It’s a shame they are not spending more time governing the country well and there isn’t a strong opposition to hold them to account.

“It’s been very well framed as anti-Westminster.”

He added: “Do I think they will win this time? No, the same arguments will come to the fore, however post-Brexit I will not be placing any bets.

“Maybe if they get some busses with fictional numbers on them and it could a winner.”

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