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Scottish independence could stunt business

Ryan Fowler

April 14, 2014

In a commentary entitled ‘Scottish Independence and unscrambling the omelette’, composed by Michael Hewson and Colin Cieszynski, chief market analyst and senior market analyst at CMC Markets, it was found that businesses were driven away from Montreal in Quebec following two unsuccessful independence votes in 1980 and 1995.

It was also found that the election of the separatist political party Parti Québécois in 1976 saw businesses leave the province in droves.

The commentary said: “The city of Montreal soon lost its crown as the financial capital of Canada to Toronto as both Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal moved their corporate HQ’s there in the intervening years.”

The report said that if the new nation were to keep Sterling after becoming independent the lack of a central bank would mean it would lose control of both monetary policy and interest rates, while the country would lack a lender of last resort.

The commentary added: “Lack of a lender of last resort could well prove ruinous for its financial services industry which is one of the biggest contributors to the Scottish and UK economy.”

The alternative of generating a new currency would also be an expensive process.

Bobby Lumsden, owner of RML Financial management, based in Dumfries, admitted that such a major change in the country is a concern.

He said: “There’s always problems in life and change is always concerning but we’ve got to go with the change or we will break.

“I am old enough to remember the last vote in 1979 and that’s never gone away – the Scottish people are very proud of their heritage and their country.”

He added however that “there’s a lot of scare mongering going on”, while he was pleased that the divide in the country has engaged young Scots in politics.


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